You might not believe
but I used to walk with senses spread,
ears perked for robins rejoicing
over unusually warm March days,
eyes attentive to shirtless frat boys
jogging away winter hibernation.
That was before a bit of pavement
ripped by ice and sun
pushed out of its home
by colonizing tree roots
grabbed my ankle
and yanked it sideways.
Now eyes only focus
on latent snags
threatening to turn life
into a series of pratfalls.
Jagged line in ceiling plaster
makes me a little chicken
wondering if the sky will fall.
Wood post, dried out and separating
as if it can’t stand itself any longer
flashes on broken relationship.
I wish I could have seen cracks back then
but pain hadn’t taught me how yet.

Fenders split by collision of two
moving too fast toward each other.
Favorite glass belled on kitchen sink
shatters into a million memories
leaving me groping for fragments
in dirty dish water, force deep reach
into quaked earth, hoping not to be bit
by the badger living under the steps.
Fissures and fractures warn
of vulnerability and failure
but breaches also boast of experience,
cracked shells give way
to succulent meats,
cracked hearts make room
for delicate loves.

©2020 Kenneth W. Arthur