THE THOUSAND CUTS

 

 

 

 

THE THOUSAND CUTS

By Margaret Zielinski

 old man
 

You run for sheer pleasure

cycle every day by the river

your body light, invisible

 

hurry past the bent figure

leaning on a cane

blocking the aisle

 

in the grocery store, you groan

at the old lady fumbling

in her change purse

 

impeding your rush

to do important things

you live with eyes closed.

 

II

Now you use a walker

are grateful to souls who slow

and smile

 

and hold a door

you pass a wheel chair and know

the stairs and steps

 

the icy sidewalks

the curbs

that hold her prisoner

 

when she goes home

the cup of coffee she can’t quite reach

the ringing phone beyond her grasp

 

the comb she drops and can’t retrieve

the drooping plants crying out for water

the thousand cuts.

 

Ojo Del Lago
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