Friday, November 30, 2007


Bits of me hurt. Specifically, my hamstrings are at that particular stage of soreness that makes it extremely painful to sit down on a toilet seat. Too much information, I know, but hovering isn't exactly an option right now. I'm not so sure I can even blame this one on Duck. I think I've done this to myself.

I'm still not running again, but as Sarah and my physio both observed, that just means I do everything else harder. After spending Sunday hauling myself around in the bush at the Sanctuary, on Monday I got up and did my usual lower body weights workout. After work I jumped into Steve's RPM class and got shouted at because I supposedly wasn't going hard enough. Well, it felt pretty hard at the time! At least our RPM instructors hassle us from the safety of their bikes. I'm not sure I'd want an instructor wandering around randomly turning up my dial.

On Tuesday Mike was typically brutal in Balance. After work I was brutal to myself, spending fifty minutes on a x-trainer. Well, my ankle didn't like that, and neither did my sanity. All up things were feeling a bit niggly afterwards. Unfortunately though, there's only so much RPM a girl can do in one week without emptying her bank account, and the songs keep turning up in my dreams.

I was brutal to myself again on Wednesday. I couldn't get near the cable machines, so I mixed things up a bit, doing four sets of hovers, chest press, shoulder raises, upright row, tricep extensions and a couple of sets of pull-ups. I was already hurting from Mike's Balance the day before (I'm always overly optimistic about how many tricep push-ups I can do in one class, and my face was firmly fixed in a grimace during the standing strength track), so I was feeling satisfactorily fatigued at the end.

On Wednesday night Mike's replacement turned out to be a Westie chick who usually only teaches RPM out at the Hutt. We got shouted at again as she picked on our technique and exertion levels. Honestly though, I went really hard. Too hard, given that I was fairly confident Duck would be attacking my legs again in the morning. I was fairly confident she wouldn't do two interval training sessions in a row. I was picking we'd be doing some more lower body weights.

I'm fairly certain that my session with Duck is responsible for a fair proportion of today's soreness. She's just completed a functional training workshop and was keen to try out her new skills. We did some great cable work on one of the new machines, featuring two vertical cables side-by side. I got to do lunges (front and side)with a weights belt around my waist, so that I was lunging against the resistance of the machine. I got to do lots of them. When I first tried I unbalanced and nearly fell over each time I dropped into the lunge. It took my brain a little while to work out the logistics of the whole thing, but by the end I was lunging against those plates like a pro. I had heaps of practice though.

After endless sets I had that mastered. Turning to face the machine I took a handle in each hand and jumped from side to side, allowing the machine to pull me into the air and landing in a squat. As I landed I alternated sets of pull-downs and wood-chopper movements. I ended up gasping at the end of each set, but it was a lot of fun. As I got more confident I was able to jump higher and higher, using the weights to take me up.

Not so much fun was turning around and jabbing with my arms (ouch - those upper body weights from the day before were looking like a bad idea) while stepping from side to side. Functional training? This was the gym equivalent of rubbing my stomach and tapping my nose at the same time. Something to work on then.

And then, the finale. Picture me in a plank pose, with my hands resting on two 6kg barbells. I had to start with an upright row from the plank position, then move forward two steps in the plank position, then do the upright row with each arm again, then move forward again, etc. After I'd done enough of them I had to do one full press up, then a press up with my left arm out to the side, then my right arm, then my left arm forward, then my right arm forward, then another full press up. We did two sets of those. The upright row was the hardest. If I lifted the weight with my right arm my left leg would threaten to lift right off the ground. There were times I didn't think I'd be able to lift that darn barbell again. But quitting wasn't an option, so I just told myself to get hard, and each time that barbell would somehow raise itself into the air. And you know what? When I finished that session I felt strong, strong and co-ordinated.

And then I got up this morning and did RPM with Dee. And it was soooo not on. My quads hurt, and there was no way I was going to manage even the vaguest hint of a hover. But I still went hard, which is why I don't think I can blame Duck for the ouch factor. I'm supposed to be going for a bike ride in the morning. Um, yeah, right.

I'm feeling so much more bike fit though. I can really feel the difference all this RPM is making with each stroke. I'm pushing and pulling much more consistently, and I'm isolating the power in my legs much more effectively. I'm also holding my upper body much more still. There's a reason why I need to increase my leg weights.

Plus, there's the muscle. I can feel the difference in my quads, particularly the lower quads that take up the effort on a hill climb. My upper body's changed for the better lately as well. My shoulders are much more defined. The pull ups are getting easier. I still hate them, but I can do them!

To add to that there's the co-ordination. I've always said I didn't have any . Then last week I managed to save myself from a nasty accident. I was walking down a steep flight of tiled steps when the cuff of my jeans leg got caught on my right boot heel. As I was tipping forwards I was looking down that long flight of steps thinking "this is not good, this is going to hurt, and this is going to take a lot longer to get over than an ankle inflammation" (apparently the fact I was thinking about how this was going to interrupt my training is a sign that I'm completely mad). Then somehow, and I still don't know how, I managed to get my left leg forwards enough to rebalance. I landed very heavily on my left foot, jarring it badly. I had to limp the rest of the way to the bus, but at least I was alive. So, it seems I need to get better at my tailoring, but I might have a little agility after all.

All of which is stopping me from feeling too upset about the weight I saw on the scales this morning. Some of that must be muscle right? Gluttony. It had to catch up with me at some point ...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Totally Optional Prompts: One Small Fluffy Moggy

A rough draft this week, and not a poem I'm happy with, but I wanted to get something published this week. I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's efforts.

Love Song in a High Pitched Meow
Tissy is in the hallway
announcing she is home
and that she has brought
with her a conquest,
perhaps this time a sock
from the drying rack, a
skink hooked from under
the flax bushes, a weta from
beneath the house or a
mouse from the blackberry.
Once it was a Tui I found her
rolling around on the sofa,
still beautiful but horrifyingly
and inexcusably dead.
I love my small fluffy
hunter but I do not love
her predatorial instincts.

More animal poems here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Read/Write/Poem: Eat Drink

Bare feet running between
rows of grapes land
with abandon on
old vine cuttings still
lying on the ground.

The scent of
ripening fruit hangs
heavy over the valley
and we are chasing
birds, timing our
sprints to the explosion
of the cannon that
they have learned
to ignore.

It is April and our
parents are harvesting.

Beyond the grapes
Feijoa trees are dropping
their fruit. We
race to collect
them before the
centipedes move in.

At home bunches of
Muscat in a brown
paper bag are
sitting on the bench
sweating juice.

Our plucking fingers
are sticky, our mouths
prickling at their
sharp sugary taste.

More feasting here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Writer's Island: Dream

This week's Writer's Island prompt went in a strange direction. What are the thoughts in your head that you hope others can't see?

If I could explain myself
to you, film reel the
grainy close-up of my
internal musings, would
you recoil from the
villain I would reveal,
the selfish motivations
and double-crossings?
Or would you recognise
yourself in the frame,
the murmered dialogue
an echo of your own
soundtrack, a love song
played backwards? As
we lie so close at night is
it a small grace that we
cannot interpret
each other’s dreams?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: I Carry

Better late than never ...

I Carry

I carry Karekare sand

between my toes,

Opanuku silt in the

pores of my skin.

This hair hides

silvered fern snagged

in passing through

Waitakere bush,

supplejack has wound

itself around my bones.

Take me from the land

but the land will find

ways to travel with me.

Concrete and glass

have not found such organic

purchase in my soul.

More Sunday Scribblings here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Am That Woman

It’s been an insane week. I’ve been on a project management course since Tuesday, with the first of two exams tomorrow. I took time out for an RPM class on Tuesday night, but by Wednesday the amount of study I needed to get done was starting to stress me out, so I traded my usual run for three hours at my desk swotting instead.

What with the lack of exercise and the stodgy hotel food at the venue where the course is being run I was decidedly twitchy by this morning. Duck has switched our sessions to Extreme, which is good in that it means we have a lot more gym equipment to play with, but bad in that it leaves me with almost no time to warm up if I catch my usual bus. I had to do a bit of mental balancing between the need for enough sleep to get me through today's course in a minimum state of awareness and the need for a bit of cardio. In the end I decided to catch an earlier bus into town, leaving Kingston at 6.30am (the first run of the morning).

I got to the gym at 7, with my session not till 7.30. Not wanting to test my ankle on the treadmill I jumped on an exercycle and set it to a hill programme. Thirty minutes later the bike switched into cool-down mode, and five minutes after that Duck arrived. By that stage I’d finished the cool-down and had switched to manual control. We talked for ten minutes, until I finally realised that I’d now been on the bike for 45 minutes and that it was probably time to do some weights. So we headed off to the main weights floor and worked my upper body and core for an hour.

Yes, that’s right. I worked out for nearly two hours BEFORE spending the day at a training course. I am that woman. I am the one who is always at the gym, no matter what time of the day you are there. I am the one you see doing weights in the morning, Balance at lunchtime, and heading out for a run at night. I am the one who knows all the trainers and gym staff by name. I am the one who also knows half of the other gym members by name and who hangs out at the front of the class with the other regulars. I am either your worst enemy or your biggest inspiration.

I am Mad Dog, hear me squeak!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rocking the RPM

Just call me the crank-room spin diva. Heck, if I can't run in the sun I'll sit on a bike in the dark instead. At least I'm getting to go to a few classes with some new instructors, and as a result I'm learning a few new tracks. Tonight Steve played 'I like to Move It', which a certain Auckland blogger is a fan of, but which I hadn't heard before. Steve also played 'Painkiller', which is a fantastic track five. Today I went a bit nuts, regretted the diet softdrink I'd quaffed earlier that afternoon, and spent the interval between each track desperately gasping for breath. Frustration can get me a long way it seems. Mind you, so can an instructor who continually yells that he's about to catch up with you and you'd better crank the dial before he gets past. I dearly wish I'd been wearing a Garmin so that I could estimate how many calories I managed to burn my way through.

On Thursday it was a new instructor, Chris, who played stonking house tracks and got lippy. It seems I like my instructors vocal. On Friday I was back in the Friday morning house of pain with Dee at the wheel, then at lunchtime I was trying and failing to do tree pose on my dodgy ankle. Despite the best intentions I spent the weekend eating and doing family duty in Taranaki, visiting my mother who was in hospital supposedly recovering from an operation. In reality she was spending her recovery time going for walks around the hospital and begging anyone who would listen to allow her to go home. In the end she was discharged two days early, and as a result I didn't get to make use of my running, cycling or swimming gear.

I bounced into my physio appointment today, confident the x-ray wouldn't have revealed any stress fractures. It seems I have a slight visible stiffness through my tibia, but nothing too problematic. She is pleased, but not pleased enough to give me permission to run the Rimutaka Incline this weekend. So I will again revise my targets, breathe a sigh of resignation and aim for Korokoro on December 9. We're talking an intense half-marathon through Belmont Park with a climb to a trig station at over 400 metres. Even Duck admitted that she'd be walking the really steep bit, and Sarah the hill muncher thinks I'm mad.

At least I have a new pair of (pink) glasses arriving from the optometrist this week and our roofing guy is arriving tomorrow to repair said roof. So there are exciting things happening, none the least of which appears to be the amazing ability of my ankle to rid itself of inflamation. It's nice to actually be healing faster than expected for a change!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sigh ...

If I weren't such a determined runner I swear I would have given up by now. The latest? A self-diagnosed synovial impingement. The OSH woman doing a ergonomic assessment of our new EA's desk set-up had a quick look and agreed with my suspicions this afternoon.

I have a crease of pain running horizontally across the area where my foot connects to my tibia (across the front of the very base of my shin). It hurts when I push my foot upwards, and it hurts when I flex it downwards. It hurts if I compress everything by running on it. I have a reduced range of motion that makes it difficult to walk in flat shoes. Essentially, I am again bung. And of course, the last two days have been PERFECT for running.

I should have been able to fend this off. I know that I have a tendency to stiffness across that area. In the past I've been able to keep it sufficiently mobile by doing ankle rotations and crouching down and rocking on my feet while holding on to a pole. I think all the hills I have been running lately have simply been too much. I knew I was slightly stiff on Sunday, but not sufficiently to set off any alarm bells.

On Monday I was undeniably sore. Pretending it was still just a bit of stiffness I completed my scheduled forty inutes on the flat, and ended up running closer to fifty. Ironically, I was feeling really fit, but I knew I was in pain and my reduced range of motion was making it difficult to run with any real technique. I wanted to go faster and I should have been capable of going faster, but my foot wouldn't let me.

I had a terrible day at work on Tuesday. I couldn't do Balance because someone scheduled a meeting over the top of my out-of-office time. I got really grumpy, and wanted badly to run to let go of some of my aggression. Of course, it was a beautiful evening. Frustrated I went home, ate way too much Chana Masala from Khana Khazana and drank a huge glass of red wine. This morning I felt lumpen as well as sore!

A good weights session this morning at least made me feel slightly more active, and after work I decided to give RPM a try. Turns out, my ankle can handle the spin. The instructor did well at maintaining momentum in a mostly empty class, and I managed to burn off a little of that curry. Mike was worried that I would hurt my ankle, but he commented that I was stubborn, like him. That's me - stubborn enough to run on an ankle that was already hurting, and stubborn enough to keep exercising, even if it meant sitting in a dark crank room on the most beautiful spring evening yet. Darn. It's just occurred to me that I really should have gone for a spin on the long neglected Lola instead.

I'm dreading telling Duck in the morning that I'm injured again. I was really looking forward to running my second set of treadmill intervals today. Hopefully I will be right in time for my sixty minutes on Saturday, but if need be I'll hold off until the inflammation has died down. I know I'm going to be able to do the Rimutaka Incline as long as I don't worsen any injuries. It's not my fitness levels that are the problem!

On the positive side, this is the last niggle that has finally turned into something more than a nuisance. If I deal with this (and I'm getting smarter at dealing with each issue that arises) then hopefully I'll emerge even stronger. I can only hope. I can't face the thought of just quitting.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Writer's Island: Unforgettable

Writer's Island this week asked us to think about the unforgettable events in our lives.

When I was 17 I left New Zealand to spend ten months in Holland on an AFS student exchange programme. I had grown up in a small town on the outskirts of New Zealand's largest city, lived in the same house all my life, and up to the day I got on that Singapore Airlines plane the only other overseas travel I'd experienced had been seven days in the Cook Islands with my family. My host mother later graciously described me as having been 'young for my age'. In fact I was extremely sheltered and had very little knowledge of the world outside of my little West-Auckland valley.

I remember how strange it felt to say goodbye to my parents for the last time. I remember walking into the Customs area, looking back to see them standing there forlornly, then turning with a grim finality towards the gate, acutely aware that I had just looked on them for the last time in what then seemed like a very long time.

Not long after I sat with the four other young Kiwis flying to Holland that day. As the plane geared up for take-off I whispered "I can't believe I'm doing this". "Neither can I," said the boy sitting next to me. "No", I countered, "I REALLY can't believe I'm doing this". I was telling the truth, I really couldn't believe I was leaping off that cliff. I was a home-body. Other people's lives made me nervous. I was a picky eater, I was shy. I really wasn't quite sure what I'd thought I was doing when I applied.

Of course I survived. I survived my first host mother, who decided she didn't like me the very day I arrived, simply because I didn't drink tea or coffee. I spent three months wondering what I might have done that would next bring her wrath down upon me. Once it was leaving my towel on the bedroom floor. Once it was putting my jeans in the wrong washing basket. Once it was not eating my liver. On the day I left it was her discovery that I had been overwatering a pot plant in my bedroom. I survived that, I survived the family's trip to a nudist colony, and I survived cycling twenty kilometres per day to school and back, even in the middle of winter. When I left it was because of the tragedy that was my sweet host father's worsening cancer, not because of any admission of defeat on my part.

If those first three months felt like an exercise in survival the rest of the exchange was a wonderful adventure. Joosje worked in a literary bookstore and at home had an English language library full of contemporary novels. She was worldly, considered, and had a remarkable instinct for guiding a naive young New Zealand girl through the world. I learned to get on well with the one host brother who still lived at home. We were the same age, and once I learned that he didn't understand my Kiwi sarcasm we got on just fine. I ended up dating one of the other two brothers, although I never got to know the oldest that well, and my host father and I never really quite got up the nerve to work each other out either. Nevertheless, I had a deep respect and admiration for all of them.

I know that I would not be the person I am today had my parents not made sacrifices to ensure that I was able to get on that flight. Those ten months of my life, although so long ago now, were truly unforgettable.

NB: If you want to read a poem about an unforgettable experience of a completely different kind, check out my last post. After publishing it I realised I had written this poem three years to the day after the event. The subconscious is a powerful thing!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Random Poem: The Cleansing

The Cleansing
When it left
there was no final struggle,
no climax of battle.
When it left there was
only a gentle subsidence,
like the outwards tide
at Pakawau, a slow
exhale of breath.
I had to stop for a moment
to listen for its silence,
to ensure that it was
really gone.
It took some time
to unwind myself
from its absence,
to quietly explore the
exposed tidal pools
and to wade amongst
the sea anemones I found
waving their rose-coloured
tentacles in my soul.
Although it took from
me its volume it did
not leave me smaller.
It removed only excess,
and afterwards I was
more precisely crafted,
and therefore stronger.
It took a while to know
that it was really gone,
but once I was truly
certain I could not
mourn its passing.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's a Miracle

Hamish came across this cosy scene and had to take a photo, knowing I'd never believe him if he told me. Yes, in this scene Ede is actually leaning slightly on Tissy's back leg. Three cats, all snuggled up together, and they didn't even need the services of the cat shrink to get there!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Running on Rocket Fuel

Oh dear. I knew what I was doing and I did it anyway. Yesterday was Hamish's birthday. It's also Day of the Dead, a Mexican celebration. For the last three years that's meant dinner at the Flying Burrito Brothers on Cuba Street. Two things were certain. There would be tequila, and there would be chillis.

My office started drinking at 4.30, so I was already one large glass of bubbly and some French bread with cream cheese and hummus ahead by the time I met up with Hamish at 5.30. After that we spent a couple of hours at a friend's place, where I ate too many corn chips and managed to get through two bottles of cider. It was after 8.30 when we finally made it to FBB and there was an hour and a half wait on a table. So it was off to the bar for a Margarita and a tequila tasting plate.

Hamish enjoyed some crab cakes to start, and I ordered the crumbed, stuffed Jalapenos. Both were delicious. We followed that up with a rabbit and lentil stew (Hamish) and chicken mole enchiladas for me (with more Jalapenos). There may also have been another couple of Margaritas.

By this time it was after 10.30 and we were in the mood for dessert. So we adjourned to Midnight Expresso for strawberry cheesecake and the cafe's divine vegan chocolate cake. We got to bed around midnight, and when I woke at around 4a.m. our cat Gaffer had still not come home. With this being the first day of firework sales, and with it also being a Friday night, the thought was there that he may have been disturbed by some going off nearby. So I had a very disturbed sleep until he finally walked through the cat door at 7.15.

Which would have all been fine, had I not been down for 90 minutes of hills this morning. Let's just say that ordinarily eating a heap of chillis, drinking a heap of tequila, and getting very little sleep would not be part of my pre-long run game plan. I don't think I woke up until about ten minutes into my run. I limited the damage as much as I could. My stomach rebelled when I tried to drink water before leaving, and I couldn't face eating anything more than a small apple. I waited twenty minutes or so before leaving home.

I wasn't in the mood to run up into the town belt again today, so I just ran straight down Farnham and towards Island Bay. As I rounded the coast towards Owhiro Bay I was hit by a stiff Northerly that was going to make things interesting. In fact I ended up running into a strong headwind all the way up to Brooklyn. Lots of things should have been bad about this run, but in fact it was pretty good. I ran steadily the whole way down to the coast, felt fine, enjoyed the views to the Kaikouras, then gritted my teeth and faced the long climb.

Half-way up I slipped into a higher mindspace, where I wasn't really aware of anything much more than that I was continuing to put one foot in front of the other. I wasn't feeling any pain, I wasn't feeling any tiredness or any shortness of breath. I was just moving forwards. Each milestone passed me by, and each time I was surprised. Already I was at the entry to the landfill. There was the first house on the right. There was the 50km sign. There was the Masonic Centre, the first street off to the right, the new housing development on the left. Taft Street, the petrol station. There were the shops. I got there without having to fight myself to keep going.

I continued to the top of Brooklyn Hill, then dropped down into Central Park, choosing a gravel trail that dropped reasonably quickly towards the stream at the bottom. It was only halfway down that I finally got hit by a wave of nausea that thankfully passed reasonably quickly after a quick stop to drop my head a bit nearer my knees. After that I was able to pick up the pace and weave my way through Te Aro and down Taranaki Street to the gym. Ninety minutes, pretty much on the dot.

I even followed that up with Balance. I had enough time to buy a Replace drink and a banana. I sat in the changing rooms slowly alternating between the two. My stomach wasn't overly enthusiastic, but I knew I needed to get some energy in before the class.

Mike filled in for Margaret, taking us through release 31. The ab track consists primarily of plank pose and side-plank. The back track includes a fairly grueling animal pose sequence. My shoulders are still feeling quite knotty after the weights I've been pushing the last couple of weeks, but my hips really appreciated doing two classes in a row. My back's loosening up now in the twists too since I've been focusing on those.

Finally class was over and I was dashing into Subway for some real food (well, realish), then into the supermarket for a few groceries. It was such a relief to get off the bus and into the shower at home. I'm feeling remarkably good now, and still haven't been able to surrender to a Nana nap. I may regret that later as it's another big night tonight, with Singstar at Sarah's then Hamish is performing at San Francisco Bathhouse. There's also a very good German minimalist djing at Sandwiches.

My whole week of training has gone well actually, and my energy levels continue to remain high. After Monday's treadmill intervals I did Mike's Tuesday Balance class, following that up with some more leg weights after work, then Duck's RPM class. This time the leg press didn't leave me with rigid quads the next day. Perhaps I may also have been a bit lighter in the dial in class. Whatever, I felt fairly fresh on Wednesday. I modified my usual upper body/core workout slightly, not being in the mood for as much cable work.

At lunchtime I was scheduled to run for half an hour at a easy pace. Instead I ran up to Kelburn then floored it back down through the gardens in an attempt to better my last time. Then it was Thursday and Duck stuck mainly to my core and upper body again, with only a little leg work. I was down for twenty minutes at an easy pace at lunchtime and was a bit stuck for routes that wouldn't involve spending up most of that time at traffic lights. Outside the wind had dropped ahead of a Southerly change and it was pleasantly cool.

I headed off up to the top of Molesworth, then dropped down onto a trail that runs alongside the Terrace side of the motorway. It's a bit of an agility course, with lots of small inclines and flights of stairs, a bit of mixed terrain and a few quiet roads to cross. I got back to the gym with five minutes to spare, so looped back to Bowen Street and ran back up to the trail again, pushing the pace through the cemetery and back down Aurora Terrace.

Other than another Balance on Friday (Margaret standing in for Clare), that was my week. I'm spending part of my 'rest' day tomorrow in the Sanctuary. Next weekend I'm going to be in Taranaki, so goodness knows where I'll be running. After that it's Rimutaka Incline. I'm also eying up new places to run. I'm looking at heading up towards Melrose, and Kate's also put me onto a series of Scottish runs. I'm feeling good, really good.

There's a post coming soon on how much of a difference running and being fit in general has made to my life. In the meantime I'm off to find some food. I'm suddenly starving!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Totally Optional Prompts: Work

My first Totally Optional Prompt post and my second poetry post this week. There's not much I really want to say about this one. Like the last it is rough and pretty much unedited. Perhaps in a year or two I might be able to pick it up and refine it, but not yet.

The Ballad of a Man
It has been claimed
that when he was young
he worked for a circus and
looked after the elephants.
When he’d had enough of
that he disappeared off into
the bush to become a good
keen man and to hunt
deer. Barry Crump was
out of it by then and the
glory days were gone and
he eventually emerged and
sashed and set off to
Auckland to make his fortune.
Instead he met my mother,
tried to leave but made the
mistake of returning one last
time to discover her standing
in his empty flat, crying tears
into her long blonde hair.
Then came work as a sales
rep, weeks on the road
selling blocks of toffee and
salt and vinegar chips,
until I was born and threw
another spanner in the works.
So there was bar work and
then bar manager work
and nights in a tuxedo playing
host at the old Mandalay
in Newmarket, the Sunday
Cotton Clubs, the Polynesian
weddings and the ballroom
dancing competitions.
Eventually the fat lady
sang and the curtain
closed and it was time
to move on again.
There was warehouse
work, then the recession
of the early 90s rolled in,
so there was time in the
fields, then the economy
improved and there was
more warehouse work and
ascending and descending
levels of seniority and
eventually there were only
a couple of years to
retirement and the
cold hard fact of being
unemployable, even
in this time of low

At first all he’d wanted
was freedom and after that
all he’d wanted was for
his family to be secure
and fed and happy, and
in the end his family would
say that he had lived his
life well and unselfishly
and that throughout he
had always done
good work.