Pris Campbell



Unexpected Changes

He rides his bike daily
down the cul de sac
past our house, this half-man
half-boy the kids call retardo.

He doesn’t seem to notice.

I think of when my own legs
pumped my bike over
the waterway, then north
past Mar A Lago when Trump
with his private club Beach Boys concerts
was still failing in his attempt
to break into that Palm Beach haven
of old money.

The bike route dead ends
at the inlet where our sailboat
entered one rainy midnight returning
from the pink and yellow house
covered upper abacos.

My balance held me in good stead
on both bike and boat,
rather then bouncing off of walls
unless grasping a chair
or waving my arms like someone
on a balance beam.

I miss the sweet smell of grass
when I mowed, soil under my nails,
driving to the store for a sack of coal
to grill chicken with the neighbors.
I miss long chats, longer kisses.
Gone, all gone.

My brain, once an A plus, falls
to an F after short chunks of concentration.
The teacher is strict.
My body buckles, a knight trapped
in a welded-on suit of armor.
I topple, exhausted, into chairs or bed.
My fork weighs a ton.

So many doctors….but in those earlier
days of this inexplicable illness called
myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome
that has taken me captive, I’m told
it’s emotional, that I’m depressed….
even ridiculed by a smug faced neurologist.
I long for the hand of my always-kind,
dead childhood doctor.

Thirty-two years now chained to my house,
but not a thief like Marley, friends gone
around corners I can’t follow. I write poems
from this twilight zone of life’s curve ball, play games
with memory. I dream the sea calls my name
and I fall into the surf. Sirens carry me
to new shores where nails from
this crucifixion are at last extracted
and I trace steps down long paths
always hoped for but never taken.

One Response to “Pris Campbell”

  1. Carter Monroe Says:

    Fine work here, Pris.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: