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the mountain range at my bedside

by Steven Kenworthy


my grandson would have never guessed that tonight,
his stories are my pulse and my heart monitor has ears.


seventy years of banging into heavy things with sharp edges has taken its toll.
one dollar per collision, and before you know it, i’m taking out a personal loan.

life has been good to me. like a tangy glass of west coast lemonade
zip-lining down my pacific throat coastway. a walk in my rainboots has always been
taking turns sipping, and then gulping. ignore precipitation to the best of my ability.

sucking ice chips now i am a seasoned astronaut coming back down to earth.
a reality check fitted with anxious gravity and more space needles than seattle could skyscrape up. it seems as though, i am pushing a call button to God.
He awaits me gently whilst i relax with a 19” analog tv that represents the 19 or so programs that i always imagined myself into, when my own life felt like too much.
i am a spotted hyena in a room full of a century’s worst phobias. liberation.



he tells me stories though, this child. back to the child.
a creation lake of the body of water i once used to jump into, carefree with the threat of drowning and never holding back.
throw those flotation devices in the trash and save the air you were going to put into them in your lungs for your next first kiss that might be the last.
this is he. running summer olympics hard nascar racing reckless. he can talk like his southern mother.
he tells both tall and brief tales that keep the red digital mountain range mountainous.
together we steer clear of the flat plains and climb with the fervor of a weekend police chase.
in his world, i am young, leather boots strapped in tight i never slip.
if i fall hard on the rocks, i was the rocks in the first place.
he keeps me going.
he has me eating up the earth with sharkish rows of sharp, youthful teeth.
i can take anything.
i can lose nothing.
i have nothing to lose.
i have done it all in a few hours.
i am all of a sudden too old, too insignificant and one inch too short for the impatient rollercoaster.
i am relaxed at the world’s lipstick rouge panic.
i am okay with the consistency of the machine’s song.

03/23/2010

Author's Note: i expect no one to appreciate this much. i just like it.

Posted on 03/24/2010
Copyright © 2020 Steven Kenworthy

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Charlie Morgan on 03/24/10 at 03:41 PM

...ken, how you can expect no one to like this is beyond me, m'boy...the minute i started it, i was in it gooooood, you dally around with such strong images-forces, etc. that i was awing and grinning...a delight full or mirrors...quite a mountain side out you window.

Posted by Sandy M. Humphrey on 03/24/10 at 09:59 PM

Your grandson's stories keeping you going, your heart monitor racing with every beat of his tale, this is good stuff, great imagery and a wonderful tribute to the bond of you and your grandson...thanks for the share.

Posted by A. Paige White on 05/05/10 at 11:52 PM

Worthy, you had me with the first line because my grandson, Logan, had me with his first breath and your first stanza had me with a stethoscope to the screen lest I miss a thing. I'm living the title. I appreciate this much and love it. All you're missing from Logan's world is one of his tall tales of the large lizard that fell on his hometown.
F A N tastic!

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 01/20/11 at 07:22 PM

I enjoyed the focus in this one. I hope you are the grandson. "he tells both tall and brief tales that keep the red digital mountain range mountainous. together we steer clear of the flat plains and climb with the fervor of a weekend police chase." I loved these lines - they bind you together with gusto.

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