MY RIGHT KNEE
Until a month or so ago
I never thought much
about my right knee.
Oh, there was Thanksgiving, years ago,
when one of my knees locked up.
The knee doctor’s nurse merely asked,
“right knee or left?”
and took an MRI, but never explained the problem.
It disappeared anyway in a few days,
so I surmised it was gout, which hits me
in different joints, from time to time.
This is different.
I have to walk down stairs one at a time.
It’s not easy for me to turn over in bed.
When I sit at my desk for an hour
I have to think before I stand up.
I know. See a doctor. I will.
But there’s a deeper point here.
I’m not used to physical impairment.
I have almost never stayed home sick,
my body has always worked quite well
which is why I have never thought much
about my fingers
or my wrists
or my heart
or, until now, my right knee.
—from Rattle #24, Winter 2005