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?