After the sun has set and the Tylenol has receded
enough to allow my arthritis back into the room,
I consider the temptation to gulp another Tylenofix,
instead, settle onto good old couch and revisit satisfaction:
the heft of the leaf-rake in my hands, the heat in my
shoulders and knees, the rhythm of consistent effort, and
the combed lushness of the green lawn that emerged from the
tawny flakes of leaves that I garnered, piled and stuffed
like dressing into oversize paper bags that I hauled and
set into rows under the carport, ready for their trip
on Wednesday, to the city composter.
Finishing the job motivated me far more than
I would have needed twenty or even ten years ago,
when I would do it because it needed doing, and I could.
Now I do it because it needs doing, and without
incident, as climbing up a roof or racing a car
or going off to find myself, would stir concern in
my family: now I do it because finishing proves I still can.