"That little murmur wasn't there before,"
the doctor says, folding his stethoscope.
"The valves are stiffening a bit with age.
It's natural." So is the hangman's rope.
I know my joints are losing that young-roe-
upon-the-mountains suppleness I thought
would last forever 20 years ago
(much like that blue Toyota that I bought).
The once-unheard-of word cholesterol
is now a lively presence in my blood.
Diets have been advised, and exercise,
and other boring measures meant for good.
But Nature's way is best. I don't expect
to live forever, nor to nurture clones,
nor hold my breath waiting to resurrect
my fat-free, sugar-free, all-natural bones.
2001; originally printed in Edge City Review.
Reprinted by permission of the author.