In Praise


I.

I always wanted thin, delicate arms.

The ones that were meant for

cascading down harp strings,

alighting over piano keys,

pirouetting across a stage.

The limbs intended for long, white gloves and jeweled, strapless evening gowns.

My arms are thick and solid like branches of an Oak tree.

Genetically, they offer the ability to

wring out wet clothes,

open stubborn lids,

scrub muddy floors.

They were designed to hold crying babies and dig in garden dirt.

Not elegant and lovely, my arms do know great strength and cannot be broken easily.

Although they are not the ones I wanted, they are the arms I have.

I lift my arms in praise.

II.

I always wanted to be an athlete.

The physical prowess to

run like a feather on the wind,

solidly connect sculpted pieces of wood with flying objects,

swim the width of lakes while maintaining even breath.

The natural inclination to gracefully scale tall buildings in a single bound.

My talents do not extend the length of a field.

During dreaded gym classes I lived between

the last child chosen,

the first one out, and

the hope of a sprained ankle.

Turning the rounded corner of the track, I recognized the coach’s impatient wristwatch glance.

Not quick like the darting sparrows, I have learned to be steady and laugh easily at my foibles.

Although it is not the way I wanted to move in the world, it is what I can do.

I lift my self in praise.

III.

I always wanted a coupled life.

A partnership with

unspoken secrets,

private laughter,

old love, yellowed with age.

Marriage bonds strong enough to withstand tear streaked cheeks and moments encased with ecstasy.

My life is singular like the solitary moon.

Between blurred motion, flash

silent dinners,

sole decisions,

a bed with one pillow.

I walk through doors missing the partner helpful in card games and slow dances.

Not joined, as one to another, my days are open to possibility, rich with a bouquet of relationships.

Although it is what I once had, it is not the life I have anymore.

I lift my life in praise.

I lift my life in praise.

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