Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ode to These Knees

Camp Gladiator Color Run team. 

Ode to These Knees

Oh knees with your articular cartilage
ball joiner of joints complex
Oh knees with your miraculous bending ,
bearing , standing,  shifting and swiveling.

These knees are stiff knees,
worker knees squatting and standing
these knees are boot camp complainers
slapped and cajoled into sprinting and hopping.
Creaking and cracking these knees sprint yards and run miles

Who would believe these knees once swiveled and swayed with abandon:
balancing the ball of their joint between tibia and femur
just so
they  danced and dodged, cycled and rope jumped,
dug in, they locked and held their breath to play tug of war .
They delighted in tall trees, polished wood, slick ice, steep hills, manicured paths, and new concrete--
gasping at flights which threatened their very skin
on roller blades , ice skates, cross-trainers , Chucky Taylors and Jimmy Choos.

Oh these knees have known disco balls and back seats,
perfumes and lotions, ocean salts and bath bubbles.
These knees have swung from
bar stools and love seats,  counter tops and park benches, limbs and jungle gyms,.

Oh these knees seize their days!

Carry on fearless knees!
Though the battle be tough and the  Gladiator field uneven,
hold firm brave Meniscus and Honorable ACL.
Soldier on against the enemy of age and couch-comfort.
Stride straight and bear the weighty future.

 *inspired by The Color Run, Doug Reeder and Camp Gladiator Orlando and Lucille Clifton's "Homage to My Hips" Watch Clifton in this piece by Bill Moyers.

Visit Two Writing Teachers for a second Slice of Life helping-
-always on Tuesday and everyday in March.


  1. funny that my knees dont' hurt, but an ode to my shoulder might be in order! Love the lines, especially this one, "Oh these knees have known disco balls and back seats,
    perfumes and lotions, ocean salts and bath bubbles."

    1. Oh you know I was thinking of shoulders too. I definitely added to my vocabulary yesterday.

  2. Beautifully done. love those 'worker knees', Lee Ann. I hope your ode will keep them safe for quite a while longer!

  3. I loved this...we might be in a similar age range. I have never had an injury...to knees, but I do feel them when walking down the mountains and even the stairs. This was such a poem to connect with ! xo nanc

    1. We might be Nance. My knees aren't injured either (they just get sore). Glad you like the poem!

  4. Well done! If I knew you when I had knee replacement (2 years ago) I could have had a poetry partner to share the woes. I was my doctor's best patient-3 hours of PT workouts three times per week.

    1. Thanks, Carol! I never actually injured my knees (just my shoulder), but It was easier writing about knees at the time. One of my good friends tore her meniscus and I learned a lot about knees from her experience. Glad you enjoyed the poem.