I see one butterfly,
flying low and determinedly,
perhaps in a southerly direction,
though its path isn’t straight.
It zigzags and flits.
I can’t get a good look,
because it is in silhouette,
but the shape of its wings
suggests it is a monarch butterfly,
and the direction of its flight
indicates it’s heading to Mexico,
where it will join millions of others,
coating fir trees in a slumber,
until it is time to wake and return north.
But right now this one specimen
is alone, winging its heart out
to get to its wintering ground.
OWNING MY SPEECH
Can I own the way I talk?
Can I possess it, like an object,
and let the person I’m talking to
know that I own it?
I don’t want someone else
to own my speech.
I don’t want to acquiesce
to someone else’s interpretation.
So I’ll say things loud and clear,
and if I have to,
I’ll shout things in your ear,
so we’ll both know what I mean.
IN THE GYM
I count the seconds
until I can put down the weight.
It’s not a heavy weight,
but it strains my arm
as I lie on a bench
with the barbell dangling
behind my head.
I watch the second hand
on the wall clock,
trying to breathe regularly,
trying not to think of how many seconds
remain until a minute is up.
And when the minute passes,
I’ll hold the weight for five more seconds.
I know my arm will feel better
after this exercise
that feels more like torture.
This practice will rehabilitate my shoulder
will loosen and strengthen the place
where ball meets socket.
I like pain, but only certain kinds,
and this isn’t the right kind.