Today's poem is by Dan Bellm

Jacob's Ladder

The young man and woman waiting for the trolley
turn, and spy me treading the Stairmaster
two flights up, and exchange a smile, or really
a smirk, at the man who's climbing nowhere, faster
and faster as the machine demands, death
written on his face, and vanity, and folly.

I remember their effortless scorn—ideally
proportioned as their bodies, gone in a breath—
both of them indestructible, both of them smoking—
but do not admire it, and they want to be admired.
I myself was deathless; now, provoking-
ly, I'm fifty-seven, flabby, easily tired

yet easily grateful, burning calories like prayers
to heaven, climbing the unending stairs.

                                        Vayetze, GENESIS 28:10-32:3

Copyright © 2008 Dan Bellm All rights reserved
from Practice
Sixteen Rivers Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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