Saturday, January 11, 2020

A Loving Look at the Journey of Failure

by 2019 Bacopa Literary Review poetry contributor stephanie roberts

Gymnastics must be the definitive sport that is the purview only of the young. Naturally flexible, I enjoyed its tests of strength and mental courage, but it wasn't long before I was too inelastic to compete.

The poem, "Middle-Age Cartwheel" is a loving look at the journey of failure. What the body can no longer execute still lives vividly in muscle memory. Sitting here, I can feel the completed act in every limb but I'm terrified at the challenge of attempt.
how i loathe the moment
the happiness of life
pivots on the webbing of carpus
and unity of eight innocent bones 
 In the poem the loss of the body's strength mirrors a loss of vitality attributed to life as people move farther from youth. It begins to seem like silliness to even attempt any apprehension of magnificence.
all for now this aching love
this tumbled shaken hour
upend and recovery now         breath
foot    handoverhand      foot    foot
sky

*     *     *
stephanie roberts won first prize in The Sixty-Four: Best Poets of 2018. An avid dreamer, she is a four time Pushcart Prize nominee, and three time nominee for Best of the Net. Her full poetry collection rushes from the river disappointment, which includes "Middle-Age Cartwheel," will be released with McGill-Queen's University Press in May 2020. Twitter (@ringtales), Instagram (@ringtales), SoundCloud.

Read stephanie roberts' "Middle-Age Cartwheel" (pp. 120-121),
in Bacopa Literary Review 2019 (Print Edition or Digital Format).

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