Bending Down to Pick Things Up
by William Minor

Why has this happened to me? It’s agony,
now, just to bend down, just
to pick up the morning paper from
the ground, or a bookmark flown

in the wind (not even landing
upright, but simply fallen flat
upon the ground): same with rubber bands,
slippers, shoes, or pistachio shells.

The only sense I can make of this is:
I am being taught some lessons (small
and large),in humility; and occasions
such as these—having to bend down

and retrieve, short of breath, chest tight,
legs weak, every joint and tendon strained—are
so recurrent I can no longer count them.
Some divine poltergeist may be at work here,

scattered objects forever at my feet, and
the only answer I receive is a cosmic guffaw:
no “Gird up your loins like a man.”
So I accept each awkward reacquisition

with an equal measure of childish glee
and an aging man’s regret, and give thanks,
for what more can we expect?

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