The Knee Replacement (Improv. on Phillipians 2)

The Rev. Maren Tirabassi

21 June 2016


It’s been a long time
since this knee could bend
at the name of Jesus, or anything else –

the challenge to clamber
over rocks on a hillside
hiking with teenagers
in spite of their playlists and texts,

the sharp cry of a small child
skinned up from a fall
or wanting to show me an ant,

the longing to gather
a handful of sand at the beach
and let it run through my fingers
remembering someone
whose life slides like grains
into the sweet saltiness of the ocean.

(those may actually be the name of Jesus
just in some other Pentecost.)

And I am anticipating
a certain emptying
to let go my signature impairment --

emptying anaesthesia, for one –
a fold in reality,
protecting me from what
I can never grasp,

and being humbled to
catheters, johnnies, and opioids
in spite of not liking the idea
of any one of them,
being obedient to physical therapy,
not to speak of the
continuous motion machine
which is not …
No! absolutely not a cross.

So what kind of mind
is Paul suggesting
that I am supposed to have?

Perhaps a light one
that slips into anthroplasty
on my way to confessing
the truest Name of all –

and bends for a hill walk,
a child’s call of fear and joy,
and handfuls of love
for people I know or will never meet,

also many other unexpected
holy kneelings.

©Maren Tirabassi