Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Pain Body

The skeleton stiffens and teeters with age,
becomes tentative, 
unlike youth's carefree, unthinking steps,
learns to place its feet carefully,
feels the ache and snap of over-stepping,
houses the heart in its rib cage protectively,
holds the head precariously 
on its fragile, so breakable stem,
head spinning precariously, 
bones helpless to stabilize
the swirling mass of neurons.

Slowly, I have become aware of my bones,
clinking and clanking ponderously
within my sagging skin.
I transport my bulk across streets 
filled with impatient, idling cars,
drivers revving their engines,
glaring at my portentous, impeding passage.

I picture this same body, these same bones,
years back, standing on a beach at sunset,
arms raised,  exulting,
corporal outline in shadow, edged with amber light,
never dreaming of a time
when I'd be living in a pain body,
the beaches and the sunset and the exultation
shining golden
only in memory.

for Margaret's prompt at Real Toads: Skeleton Poetry


  1. Its the time of the August Moon, wild woman :)

  2. it's tough... made me think of my mom who has big problems with her knees and on some days she can hardly walk because of the pain... hugs...

  3. So true -- when a person is young they resist thinking of what it will be like when they are old; and when they are old, they look back nostalgically for what was....and still dream.

  4. Ah, our dear old bones... What I especially like about your poem is the lines which lead in to each stanza. They carefully direct the content of each one. This is a very memorable piece, Sherry.

  5. I love this, Sherry. I am almost there, Time only know when. Prolia (bone strengthener med) and teeth are rearing ugly heads.
    Your closing lines are sooo lovely, repeat them here, "the beaches and the sunset and the exultation(,) shining golden(,) only in memory."
    When I'm in my wheelchair I'd like to hang this on the back.
    May I? (Please?) (Thank You)

  6. Remember those days when we barely thought about the fact there were bones keeping things together for this daring flesh of ours? Oh, the good old days when pain was an acute thing that faded behind a quick ouch, a pain killer or just a good night sleep... Now we never forget to thank our feet for walking that extra mild, or our backs for bending just far enough... Such a gift the body. Pain and all.

    I send you healing hugs and wishes for poetry that absorbs some of the pain and leave you breathing softly. ♥

  7. Sister, Sister ... you art thou.

    I took quite a tumble down an incline (pebbly part of the road) and really did a number on my right leg. My skeleton survived the fall, though I look pretty horrible today and I have aches where I normally don't!!

  8. Oh the bones.. There are a few years (hopefully) yet.. but awareness of those bones will come .. the scene with those cars pop out vividly at me... why can't we be more patient.

  9. oy...age is something that will come to all of us...even if we pretend at times it wont...or maybe we just dont think about it....until one day we feel those bones.....

  10. Nice to remember and to appreciate. Must say I don't see the bulk--maybe comparably. Can you still lift your arms in vees of Praise?

  11. My bones are something I rarely thought about when young. Today, it's the first and last thought of my day. Can't ignore them.
    Your poem hits close to home. I've been looking at old pictures. Hard to believe I was ever the young girl I see in those photos.

  12. Just remember that though the body gets weaker and frailer, the spirit can grow ever stronger and brighter, as yours does.

  13. I'm starting to become aware of the "tentativeness" that you mention. I really feel old when it snows and it's slippery. I walk like a little old lady! I'm trying to learn to love my aging body in all its wrinkled, splotched, and flabby wonder! Great poem!

  14. This fills me with sadness and guilt...all the time that I've overlooked ease of body. There're so many beautiful lines in your poem, Sherry. I love this, "houses the heart in its rib cage protectively" and the "amber outline" especially. Excellent capture of the delicate skeletal body.

  15. As I said to David this mid day - getting old isn't fun.

  16. Feeling your pain, embracing your wisdom, and always reveling in your spirit to mix the two deliciously.

  17. we will reach there when it's time..body aches but your soul is ever shining...thus the golden words...

  18. I so understand pain...through your pain your spirit shines...I am blessed each time I visit here.

  19. Age brings pain but each step that might be difficult to take, each turn that leads to this pain is an example of the story we lead. Our story that with age grows in wisdom and knowledge. I hope some day I am able to justify my pains like you do!

  20. Indeed!
    My back croaks and creaks in conversation with me every morning, "I adore you. I want to do what you want to do, and I will. Just give me a bit to awaken, stretch, prepare." At 55, it has begun!

  21. we're bones and water, mostly. glad your bones grace this watery planet, Sherry :) ~


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