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
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.