As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

t’ai freedom ford – Poetry

the body exacts its revenge (like a lover scorned)

in the months after i turn 40
the body begins to quit me
like a lover i’d cheated
the right ear rings with wax—
a clogged cocoon refusing even
the sound of my thoughts

the left shoulder blade never stops
aching as if the wings of my youth
have been stripped—my failed
flexibility a reminder
of how fly
i once was

the right hip throbs, wakes
me out of sleep like an angry
lover forcing me on my back
the kneecaps click and whine
when i walk—and any attempt
at dancing they buckle

with laughter: i am humbled
into a two-step, a woeful hustle—
remembering family
gatherings when the old folk
would wobble and finger snap
while we, the vainglorious,

smirked and stifled, coughed
through dust they kicked up
now, this body is not unlike
theirs—slower and inefficient
and like a younger lover always
reminding me of my age

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAt’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher and reformed “slam” poet. She received her MFA in fiction from Brooklyn College. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Velvet Park, Sinister Wisdom, Union Station, Wilde and T/OUR Magazine. She is a Cave Canem fellow who lives and loves in Brooklyn, New York. She hangs out digitally

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