Athletic (in a way)

Young athlete, one machine

Parts are purring, humming together

An effortless fluidity from foot to hand

No thought, it’s instinctive.

Then age will slowly place itself between

the lung and hip and fingertip

You feel the pangs and think;

“Is this muscle or nerve?  Arthritis or stress?”

And now the old athlete,

measuring success through a tolerance of pain says

“It’s probably nothing”.