Limping towards Infinity

Many thanks to Zonta Kitchener-Waterloo for a Women of Achievement Award! I would like to thank Elizabeth Clarke for nominating me and Brenda Halloran for interviewing and introducing me. News coverage of the banquet and award ceremony, 17 February 2016, follows: http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=811338.

Brenda Halloran suggested that I read a poem. Keep it light and joyful, she said, and about something we can all relate to.

So I decided to read a poem about death.

Actually, it’s only peripherally about death. It’s more about aging–something we can all relate to.

The night before a significant birthday, I was a mess. I’d injured my left knee a few months earlier, and it still hadn’t healed enough to walk down stairs without pain. And I had tendonitis in both elbows from lifting and carrying something that was far too heavy.

That night, with aches in three of my four extremities, I got up in the dark and crashed into a wall I’d forgotten was there, breaking a toe on my right foot. The next day, my birthday, I accidentally wheeled a suitcase over it. I could hardly walk. So I graduated into old age feeling not the significant age I’d turned but 30 years older.

And that prompted this poem.

 

Limping towards Infinity

26 June 2014

 

Before the sun and old age dawned,

I crashed, half asleep, into the dark-

obscured, jutting corner of a wall

and broke, or nearly broke, a toe.

 

The wall a jolt, though accidental,

into senescence, almost as sure

as the hormone blasts that startled breasts

and adolescence into excitement.

 

The brain knows finitude. The heart does not.

24,000 sunrises. How many

more? The wall a reminder of other

hard stops on the limping way to infinity.

 

 

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hildegard says:

    Congratulations on a well-deserved award! Thanks for bringing us wit through your words for our gain, at the expense of your physical pain. On the upside, having been propelled into a senescence 30 years beyond your significant age, you realize that as you have been healing, you’ve been getting younger all the time, and there’s really no need to stop then at any particular benchmark! 😉 Cheers!

    1. Brilliant, Hildegard! Many thanks!

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