This Body of Mine

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.