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Heart Murmur


"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.


Gail White



2001; originally printed in Edge City Review.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

by Grapholina

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