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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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Marietta McGregor

Pilgrimage

meniscal tear
a ragged hole in the last page
of the story

Self-conscious about walking into the orthopedist’s waiting room on a stick, I find there’s no need. Every sort of perambulation aid is on display. Braces of startling complexity that could shore up Notre Dame, wheelie walkers with built-in coffee cup holders and padded bumpers, mini-trikes with lithium batteries the size of pocketbooks, elbow crutches, zimmer frames. By his seat one man has leaned a knobkerrie, black ebony polished by years of use. A woman in a floral dress has a cane with ribbons and a scallop shell attached – I wonder if she once walked the Camino. I flick through a magazine and get engrossed in a feature on ageing, only to find someone has torn out a recipe on the back of the ‘continued’ page. I don’t know how it ends. But then, do we ever?

wind-swept street
a one-footed pigeon
staggers a little


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