Sunday 5 November 2017

1 Poem by Buff Whitman-Bradley

As vertical as possible

I place my feet with care in such a world
– William Stafford
I have fallen twice recently,
Once onto the rocks
In a creek I was crossing
And once on a steep stairway
Outside a friend's house.
Neither time was I injured
But it did hurt my heart
To be reminded once again
That my arthritic joints and I
Have entered the age
Of falling-down-ness
Which in my spryer moments
Still seems years and miles away.
I know I've got to remember
To lift my feet higher
On my strolls and hikes
And gaddings about town
And always to use a good walking stick.
I also know
That even high-stepping and the stoutest of staffs
Won't prevent the Big Fall that looms
In the unknowable future,
My one final tumble
Into oblivion's infinite elevator shaft.
But until that happens
I'll do my best
To remain as vertical as possible –
Be mindful of terrain
Wear sturdy shoes
And place my feet with care.


Buff Whitman-Bradley's poetry has appeared in many print and online journals, including Atlanta Review, Bryant Literary Review, Concho River Review, Crannog, december, Hawai'i Review, Pinyon, Rockhurst Review, Solstice, Third Wednesday, Watershed Review, and others. He has published several collections of poems, most recently, Cancer Cantata, poems written during his treatment for cancer in 2016. His interviews with soldiers who refused to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan became the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. He lives in northern California with his wife Cynthia.

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