Walking with Martha

Walking with Martha


mustard shoes waddle against the treadmill

hands clench tight to deflated love handles

the response of an aging body burdened by gravity

layers of

polyester turtlenecks (XL)

wool sweaters (XXL)

and spandex-rich pants already fully expanded (size 18)

peel back as she recounts her day

the repetitive life of a senior

I lost my crochet hook

which was already lost and found two weeks ago

my Christmas tree still isn’t up

I offer

she politely declines

something about

Eric will do it when he gets back

Eric never visits

only to drain the Wi-Fi and freezer box

as we walk

she wheezes

unfolds her seniority

I went from my parents’ house to Al’s

eyes drop

body quivers

nostalgia erodes and

reveals the past

he was my only best friend

we stop short of twenty minutes

mustard slows

hands melt

hips idle

breath deepens

we are done for the day

but Martha has been done for a while