The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Friday, June 30, 2006

A Poem about the Lifecycle

In my attempt to appreciate poetry, I found an anthology of poems entitled Boomer Girls: Poems by women of the baby boomer generation.  Edited by Pamela Gemin & Paula Sergi. Here’s one that immediately connected.

Fitness Club: Riding the Lifecycle
By Judith Hougen

The control panel counts time, calories, miles
gone, outlining hills to come, the red lights
beating calmly, saying the place you need to go
is at least 15 pounds from here, how willing

are you?  mile after mile.  I could have pedaled
these phantom wheels across America by now.
Anchored to this amputee of the modern age,
I give away the last thickness of fat to computerized

inclines, to a blinding honesty that must negotiate
with everything I see.  After years of struggling through
a life fed by half-truths, I am laying down the past like
the careful molasses of asphalt: a thick methodical

roadway.  It doesn’t solve everything, but it’s real.
I am willing to hold the sad weight of every lie
I told while raging at the world through my body.
These days movement is no longer

optional.  I have learned to welcome
the sanity of each mile, to love the woman
inside this engine, who reinvents the wheel
daily and now has important places to go.

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