• The Knee Replacement (Improv. on Phillipians 2)


    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