My fingers are stiff at breakfast
and the stairs sometimes stab my knees.
But my pulse
has slowed down the most ó
no longer inclined to race
behind paramedics and police
toward fires smoldering blocks away.
My lungs are weaker, too.
I canít hold my breath
when a siren wails in the distance.
I must wait till red lights
flash outside my door.
The stamina I had in youth,
to pace the floors till dawn, see monsters
raising claws in every shadow,
has mysteriously compressed with age,
like the bones in my shrinking spine.
But unlike my night vision,
itís one loss I donít miss.
If you have any comments on this poem, Jacqueline Jules
would be pleased to hear from you.