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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

The Saga of Papa’s Wounded Knee

I was wounded in a race with Michael.
A smash-up on the sidewalk with my bike.
Michael is four years old just barely.
He rode without training wheels
just barely three.
A remarkable cyclist.
He could outrace me any day
just barely seventy one,
but I thought he was no match
for my big bike,
as he flew past my wheels.

How autumn blinded me with light.
How my legs could not excel his own.
How the balance of our hearts
shifted in different ways,
when I called out to Michael,
in envy, take care, take care,
half a block beyond.
Then I skidded, putting concrete
to the bone,
and sat on earth taking note.

I was in one piece just barely,
as Michael circled back
asking if I was ok.
I said yes,
unaware in the numbness of the crash
my knee, which stoically
had borne me all my life,
was barely holding me together
except with its fortitude
to keep me on my feet.

There is much that could be said
of a story so prosaic
and repeated time after time,
to a doctor who listens
to the plight of our skeletons,
and their unsung valor.
Whose task is to ease the burden
of an old knee’s joint,
bearing up a man
who for all his years
should be more wise,
and not chase angels in a race.

Published inIndex of all Poems