for Lee Petsonk


My friend Lee says I am in new territory.

My back hurts, my legs, there is metal

throughout my body, a shooting pain

down my left buttock. Yes, I say, it’s

new territory. Every day, I cross things

I loved from my list: racketball, tennis,

skiing, my bright future in golf. Soon,

no doubt, they will be followed by sex

and kundalini yoga. Cheesecake and lasagna

are surely just around the corner. But

this is the way of all explorers: Even Lewis

and Clark had their beloved dog stolen

by natives as they entered the Bitterroots.

Now, there are still invigorating swims

in the lake, chickadees gathered at the feeder

to voice their manic little complaints. Pity,

especially for ourselves, gets us nowhere:

I swim on, with only a slight pain in my

back. I am crossing into another country.

Oh, what a beautiful sunset, I say to myself,

the landscape so utterly new, the hills so alive

with the sounds, yes, of some strange music.



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