he gets so tired and never shows it

you’d think that after twenty years

of inflammation, surgery, hip

knees, shoulder replacements

that he’d age as well

but that handsome face

has a fire down in his gut–

that old soul that dreams of

the sea and articulates

actual pain in mounds of clay

he sculpts and smokes and

sips his tea, a traveler

of the world, a wander-lust,

a dreamer and realist

who taught me how to smoke

cigars on the train tracks in the rain

when we were twelve

who taught me how to be fearless

in this world where we get hurt

who taught me how to be twelve

forever in my heart, jumping off ledges

into unknown waters

he’s forever jumping off ledges

into unknown waters

and you oughta see him deny

his bravery

how he gets pushed down

time after time

by his very own body, defying him,

and he gets up and shakes the dirt

and talks about California.

There aren’t many people out there

in this world that could quite compare

and so few know the treasure that he is

as a friend, as a comrad, as family

as a soul boundless and as free

as the wind across the water

he questions why he can’t get up

and he never quits trying


and if you pitied him the old man

in him would spit in your face

we don’t know where he’s been

but what kind of spirit does it take

to keep getting up

and up

and up

the sun in his eye

13 thoughts on “Mike

  1. wow– too fabulous, Amy. I really like this. I can so relate–if you could see me, you’d understand. We get up and up because we don’t like the option….sensitive caring poem; gives me hope re being cared about by younger generation. xxxj


  2. mike sounds like a great guy to me that has meant a lot to you and is quite the inspiration to us through your words…really well written…loved it…


  3. Wonderful portrait of a survivor, who says Yes when everything says No. Comrade in arms or mentor, brother or saint or all of the above, Mike’s a treasure and this poem a great gallery of what makes him so. Great work, Amy.


  4. Those who carry this kind of torch are all too rare, light-bearers for the rest of us. You’ve painted him well in this free flowing, yet concise and balanced piece.



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