exhaustion at Fox glacier

That spring in the knees, quick ascent from crouch

to standing, I crave it, I ache to elevate

without a hand on the wall or the

need to roll on all fours first – mortified

by Time.


I used to leap from boulder to boulder,

a mountain goat, able to avoid

the packed snow beneath. Now I slog up

and down, feet sodden, violating

the family aging rule – no vieja noises!

demoralized by one granite rock,

then the next.


My middle-aged son glances, wonders

if he should offer his hand, knows I

would bite it off before I use it.

He sighs, resigned to the pace I swore

never to set.


“Go on ahead,” I say, knees aching.

“No, I mean it.” (when I really don’t)

He bounds on ahead.  Left alone, I

hear my body, erratic rhythm,

besieged. In solitude I ponder,

what is worse – humiliation or

loneliness? Or could it be remorse?

Anguish that I am reduced to this,

a clumsy, lumbering shadow of

that young girl who didn’t seize the time

to bound and soar when she was able.

9 thoughts on “Knees”

  1. Instead that young mountain goat spent a quarter of a century instructing herd after herd of young goats to think, to write, to soar. Those old knees may not appreciate this, but those young goats, some middle aged now do. Perhaps someone can remind those knees of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great writing!
    So many of us can relate. But don’t give up! I’ve been through knee problems and now hip impingement problems and with the help of our local PT magician, Matt Kraemer am putting them behind me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I love this!! Right there with ya. And with recent osteoporosis diagnosis, feeling way more vulnerable, and less likely to take risks, which saddens me some. Sending so much love. Michelle Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I never was that mountain-climbing goat-girl; running on the beach is my loss. Love this line: “…knows I / would bite it off before I use it”
    Thanks, Carrie for the poem and its sentiments.


  5. oh, sore knees indeed, and the tears, the astonishment of slowness and achiness. thank you for being incredibly brutally beautifully honest, carrie. you probably hate any advice on remedies…i’m writing this anyway…i’ve been using shark cartilage for several years (after falling on my knees)…allows me to hike a bit, going down is still slow though it’s helped alot. if you want more info, i’ll send it…xo n


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