She doesn’t give up, this girl.
Today, she had me horizontal,
On her pink yoga mat
On the carpet
In front of the TV,
Adriane telling her what to lift and when.
I liked the horizontal feeling,
Although it was harder than the bed.
I love bed.
Curling up on the memory foam mattress.
Quilt surrounding me.
Feeling him not too far away, his warmth,
His steady breathing.
I like it best when she lets me lie flat on the bed,
Her behind sinks in deeper,
Into the mattress.
Her head into the pillow.
I keep straight, well, as straight as I can
A line between neck and behind
But then he tells her,
and she makes me turn on our side.
And after a while, I feel all crooked
And her shoulder complains.
And I have to turn on the other side.
And back and forth.
Like a boat rocking.
I don’t mind being on a boat.
Like in my early years,
When she lived on the boat,
That gave me a lot of exercise
Bending, running on sand,
Swimming in the sea.
A mask on her face
The warm sun on me,
On my shoulders
Her sister rubbing suntan lotion
On me, so I wouldn’t burn
But I don’t do that.
I just turn brown.
Not like the front parts
They are too sensitive.
The breasts burn,
That spot just above the bikini
The butt, just below the bikini pants
Or on the hips.
I just tan.
I carry the weight,
I carry the sunshine.
When we used to live in the sun.
But now, it’s rainy outside
Like this morning,
Drops all over the front window.
She pulled the shades up.
But it was still dark in the house.
At least she could see the TV screen
The sun didn’t hide the picture.
There was Adriane,
telling her how to stretch.
Yes, stretch me! Don’t just lean me against a chair
Or a sofa – where I sink in and lose my shape.
“Heart to the sky” says Adriane
And I rejoice when she pulls down her shoulders
And pulls back her shoulder blades
And tucks in our tailbone
Not all the way; just right,
And her neck –
She wiggles it from side to side
Up and down,
Her nose goes in a circle.
I stretch up and high,
Then down and down and suddenly
Without warning I’m in an upside down V shape
“Downward dog” they call it – but no one is barking
I want to stay here,
But the shoulders tell me, “Um, remember, that frozen time we had,”
And I send the message to her
And she tucks into a ‘child pose,’
Where I could sleep all winter
Through all those icy wet droplets
Those grey days
I could just repose
In child’s pose.
* * *
But we go on,
She is breathing, heavily
I want to help out, but when she sits down,
I curve out
Like I always do.
Heart up, she says to me, and I do my best.
Fingers supporting me from behind.
Breath supporting us all.
Okay, yoga mat, you win; I cooperate
The best I can.
They say it will get better.
I hope so, really.
At least she’ll take me to the physiotherapist
He’ll massage me,
Get rid of the knots
Smooth my stress.
I do my best.
Really I do.