Dave Morrison

From now on, all
he will be able to
write about is pain,
if he can even write
at all.

His wife asks, “Are
you all right? Do
you need any help?”
and all he can do is
grunt through gritted
teeth like a wounded
caveman.

The energy that used
to go towards constructing
good lines, or linking
observations, or even
daydreaming now goes
towards straining out of
the chair, or shuffling
to the kitchen.

He approaches each task as
if he is diffusing a bomb–
one wrong move, one
shift in balance and there
will be a blast of bright
yellow light.

He is astonished at
all the things he has
done in his life that
did not result in
lasting pain. He misses
his young body.

Soon he will fall
back on old habits.
He will think of his
vertebrae as rusted
ball bearings, his
sciatica as a jangling
toaster element, or a
telegraph of pain,
or some such thing.

For now he stares
out the window and
considers the complex
and wearying project
of making tea.