Bad back

I wonder if there has ever been a poem
written about a bad back.
You know. The kind of chronic
back problem that causes enough
pain to prevent you from doing
the simplest of chores, like bending
over to pick up anything off the floor
or putting on your socks or pulling open
a sliding glass door, standard, everyday
stuff that we all take for granted.

Any of those movements or even
no movement for that matter causes
excruciating pain, the kind that is sharp,
stinging, unpredictably shooting down
your legs, first the left, numbing your
little toe while needles prickle your calf.
You adjust, then the right leg gets
the same treatment, and you adjust again,
walk like an old man, though you’re a long
way from collecting Social Security.

As I think further about it, anyone
with such severe pain likely couldn’t
sit long enough to write, print or type
such a poem. Logic would dictate that
such persistent pain would make him
delusional. Besides, even if he did,
the poor fellow would be considered too
wimpy, too self-engrossed, too brash
exuding too much self-pity to dare
write, much less publish such a ditty.

Has there ever been a poem
written about a bad back?
Probably not.

Bruce Stambaugh
March 24, 2010