Body, for all the gripes I have
about stiffness and pain,
I should be grateful for all you have given me.
We’ve had a pretty good run,
you and I, and although
I might wish for flexibility,
and the eye-hand coordination
that might have turned playground games
from torture to triumph,
there have been other gifts and gratitudes.
Together we’ve wandered
back roads and highways in far-away places.
Gotten our feet muddy in the red soils
of Appalachia and Kenya.
Kicked stones on the path to a pass in the Himalayas.
We’ve shared the tang and savor
of Salsa Verde, Chimichurri and Gochujang
and truffle’s subtle dusky flavor.
Every atom in this collection of limbs and lungs
vibrates in delight when we sing,
breastbone and our humming heart up against the guitar back.
You’ve carried my spirit and soul around for decades,
opening dream doors
to other provinces and locales.
As much as I complain,
I can’t get along without you.
Marie Eaton, PhD, is community champion for the Palliative Care Institute in Bellingham, Wa.