Tag Archives: treadmill

STRESS TEST

 

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Everyone is old or fat
like feed bunk cattle
sorted to a pen to wait
for the magic of machines
to screen the heart—
the pump and pipelines
to mind and flesh.

In the 60s I was sure
I’d never see thirty,
made no plans past the Draft
on the other side of tomorrow.

The army trained her
for Desert Storm
right out of high school.
She shaves my chest,
connects the wires.

                    Knees squeak,
                    feet clop,
                    fast at first,
                    slow to find
                    a longer stride
                    on the treadmill.

From the sidelines,
a new team on the field
to keep the machinery
running a little longer,
another election to survive
like all the rest.

I drive home lightheaded,
endorphins mixed
with a muggy sky,
chance of thunderstorms
and fire, now that we have grass—
wild oats over my head.

No straight line,
the road to here
ricocheted with heart,
a flush of passion
left at every curve
I cannot measure,
barely remember
as reducing stress.