(Back to You is a rather personal reflection, coming from the “voice of my back,” that is letting me know why I’m living and dealing with the back pain I now have as a man in his 60’s.)
Have you forgotten?
Back when you were nine
climbing way past high
and the branch snapped
but I didn’t? You hit hard,
were dazed and still I let you walk home.
Oh, I remember, still. And thanks.
And at fifteen, jumping out of hay mows
on the farm and carrying double sacks of grain
upstairs. Did you think I wouldn’t notice?
Or those planks at nineteen…what were they?
Two eighteen footers on your shoulders and you
hit some ice, went down and like a lunatic
crawled off to what? A concert that evening?
Yeah, me and my girlfriend, my good wife now,
had tickets for the Moody Blues in the old Boston Garden!
No way we’d miss that! Climbed on all fours to reach our
And those kids. Yours and everyone else’s ever since,
crawling all over me. What did you call it, “airplane rides?”
And those flippy things you let them do at my expense,
when you stood, held their hands and they walked up your
chest and flipped upside down. Some stunt buddy. Thanks a lot.
…Or those sixty-pound menaces you call children
who sprang full-throttle, no warning, into your arms. They
were the only ones smiling once they landed let me tell you.
I suppose you’d be happier if I had stuck to sorting widgets?
If they weren’t heavy, yes.
Not my life, and thank God for that!
God’s not holding your carcass up now buddy. I am.
So what do you want? How long’s it gonna be until I heal
and do what I want again?
Don’t know. I’ll get back to you on that.