Carry Me Home: Waiting For Easter

It was swinging my backpack,
far too heavy,
up onto my shoulders
one too many times,
the long flight home
curled in the narrow middle seat
not meant for sleeping
with no room to stretch
the weight of the tearful good bye,
it’s been too much
too much to carry.

And so no surprise
when I rolled out of bed
into an ouch and ache
a groaning to stand,
a back ache and strain –
it’s been such a pain.

I took my usual advice –
ignored it
kept going and
going some more
all my usual ways of
of not giving up
not giving in,
nodded at the kind advice of co-workers,
referrals to chiropractics
and advice on pain meds.
Not me, not that
kept going
kept on
ready to feel better
ready for it to be over.

It’s been a lot more challenging
than I thought it was going to be
the backache that is,
the change in the schedule at work
the new marriage,
all a bit more difficult to navigate
than simply swinging out of something old
and into the new.
I drag too much behind me –
the patterns and regrets
the fears,
too many things
set in my ways
stuck in my past.

The doctor says I’m fine
no slipped disk or whatnot,
just the common backache and muscle strain
and yes different he smiles in your 50’s than your 20’s
not just as quick on the get up and go.

I tell him I hate that.
He looks me straight in the eye tells me, it’s alright.
It’s what I came for
that, and the kind nurse, Shawna, saying
Oh that’s too long to feel so bad,
the embrace of the warm cuff
velcroed to my arm,
the pressure rising
the slow emptying
the ticking numbers,
the puff of release,
the assuring word, this too, okay.

Perhaps it is,
and this just the pain of adjustment
of getting back into shape
from what’s been tweaked out of place
from carrying too much.

The doctor looks at the heavy green backpack
there at my feet
looks like you have a lot in there.

Did you need to carry it all in here today?

Perhaps yes,
perhaps no.
I carry a lot
and perhaps not all I need.

It will be a good thing
to leave some behind,
I know that,
to empty my bag,
to put down what I need no longer carry.

Today, I swing on my pack
and out into the bright spring day.
ready for release.

Peter Ilgenfritz