Risks Around Each Corner
by Ute Carson
Yellow Arrow Journal (Re) Formation, Vol. 5, No. 3, Fall 2020

"Nothing can be taken for granted when you're 80.
There is risk wherever you turn."
My doctor's warning echoes as I leave the clinic.
Even well-oiled hinges are beginning to creak,
my heart is skipping a beat,
and my feet burn at night.
Getting through an ordinary day saps my energy.
I am drained after even a leisurely walk.
But should I stop dancing because I fear a fall?
Should I leave off lovemaking
lest pleasure stop my heart?
No longer climb a little higher
because I'm short of breath?
Now in old age I pay for excesses of joy
with mounting aches and pains.
But rekindling the thrill of cherished skills
still seems worth it, all in all.
By staying connected through breath and touch
we delay the long sleep that awaits us all.
I have resolved to take risks
while I'm still able to savor life's sweet nectars.

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