our hope will outlast us


we emerge slowly

from our cars,

limp through the

clinic’s doors

hoping one more time

to be healed.

here we must reveal our

swollen selves

to physical therapists,

the priests of pain,

who inquire about

our injuries, surgeries,

failures, addictions,

incisions and indecisions

and then we laugh

because the burden of hurt

and varicose veins

require hearty humor.


we lie on the

treatment tables,

therapists s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g

joints and muscles

to the edge of agony

and beyond as they interrogate:

“does it hurt here?

here? or here?”


we try

to breathe

silently confessing

“merciful therapist,

we have committed the sin

of wanting to run

like children again.”





Published by


I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

17 thoughts on “our hope will outlast us”

  1. Is that what I was doing! The last stanza says it all, Michael. I think adaptation now plays its part in my life…continually switching physical activities to accommodate whatever body part I’ve strained in the previous activity. Actually, come to think of it, just like a child. Thanks! you’ve been very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jana, your comment has me smiling. at 71 i have strained most of my body parts, some several times. currently i am training for a 5K run at the end of august, despite the advice of people far smarter than i. three weeks ago i tripped over a sidewalk crack, skinned up my knees, then later compared scabs with those on the knees of my two young grandsons. (they were impressed.) who was the adult in that situation? thanks so much for the reply. i am still smiling.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Touching and eloquent. So accessible. So much beauty in your choice of words and phrasing — “priests of pain”, “burden of hurt”, “hearty humor”. My first PT experience came at a relatively young age, thirteen years ago, when we discovered — via burst discs — a hidden defect in a partial fusion in my S1/L5 vertebrae. Such anger I had, that my body should betray me so! I feel we are friends, now, that partial fusion and I — I understand when it talks to me, I monitor my movements, I have made yoga a practice to increase strength and flexibility. We learn our limits, sooner or later, along the way. It is humbling. Now, if only I can learn and end-run around this tendonitis…! Thank you for sharing, and I wish you well 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. our relationships with our bodies can be so complex. i, too, have burst a couple of discs, so i know how painful that experience is and how much time one spends in therapy clinics trying to cope with pain. your ability to deal with the injuries and then learn how to become stronger is inspirational. i sometimes compare my body to an old car: banged up a bit, pretty slow and wheezing, but it’s carried me along as best it could, surprising me with its resilience. my gratitude for your personal
      response to the poem.


  3. Dear Michael, I agree with all comments, and as Carrie Birde said, your words, expressions are amazing. There are so many beautiful poetical touches in your lines, some of them so touching but never leave us a sadness, your positivite rising in your poetical lines again. Thank you, have a nice day, Love, nia


  4. Great poem, Michael. I’ve been to physiotherapy a few times and I can relate, especially to the professionals being “priests of pain”.

    The interrogation scene was really interesting to me:

    “does it hurt here?
    here? or here?”

    A doctor told me once that pain that manifests in the body could stem from an emotional source. Just like trigger points, sometimes the root of the pain is different from where the pain actually appears. Makes me wonder where else in life we may be asking the right questions in all the wrong places.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s