September 29, 2021

How Can You Tell It’s a Poem If It Doesn’t Rhyme?

I was watching the US Open
ten
nis matches on
TV when
I got up, putting my whole weight down
on
my sleeping left foot. I heard it crack. X
            rays revealed a fractured fifth pin
kie metatarsal bone.
My first sports in
jury. I’m proud of it. But I’m lucky. I’ve
            always been

lucky. The sports med doctor, no
            surgery, put me in a big black boot like an
astron
aut’s, and said, whatever else you do,
            don’t put your left foot down
without the boot, not even
(ha ha!) on
the moon.
He did say I may take the boot off by un
doing the Velcro straps when
I’m in
            bed. But I might forget to reboot. Especially since I’m a little bit in

con
tin
ent and have to get up every night at
            least one
time to go to the john.
TMI. My cautious husband says I’m in
discreet, which is, as far as he’s con
cerned, just an
other form of in
con
tin

ence. He says take baby steps, he says
            wait, wait un
til I’m ready before I put my foot down,
which makes me want to put my foot
            down
all the way, to misquote Anne
Sexton,
who was talking about the sun.
Impatient, impetuous, un
grateful, mad, i.e. an
gry and a little bit in
sane,

It’s my life, I tell him. Pelicans, I tell him,
            are mon
ogamous for breeding, but in
depen
dent away from the nest, which is, as far
            as he’s con
cerned, just an
other word for in
discreet. A poem may rhyme, I tell him,
            but on
ly if it wants to. My foot may be broken
but I can
walk.
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