You work so hard for everyone here — miles
of purposeful redundancy to drain
a urinal of pee, a bag of ice,
to ease my joints past elemental pain,
while I, the victim of a well-aimed fall,
have but the task of leaving a well-warmed bed.
And what a task it is, the leg in question
barking like a dog run down and left for dead.
You help me with my clothes, you wash my back,
you help my shorts free pockets from my toes.
You supervise in silence while a cloth,
among the shrunken life between my legs, comes and goes.
What but generosity inspires
this life devoted to another’s lousy day?
Routine for you, relief for me—a bargain
only labor and the goodness of the heart repay.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Don Wheelock would be pleased to hear them.