By John Winkelman

It’s not that I feel old, but in the holy trinity
of sleep, silence and solitude, I have had to reassess silence
to account for the ever-evolving percussion section
which accompanies my interactions with the world.

Rising from a chair triggers a tympanic lumbar boom,
one for a sitcom, three for a great movie.
Stairs cause a series of sixteen snare drum snaps,
eight from each knee on the way to the bedroom.

Wrapping my arms around my lover brings the woodblock crack
of shoulders moving out of the usual phone-supporting configuration.
And if I am lucky, she returns the squeeze hard enough
to pop a rib or two back into place.

Lovemaking is thankfully free of the dry creaking of my
slowly aging bones, but sometimes in that wonderful
afterglow stretch my spine becomes a string
of firecrackers, set off at midnight to celebrate
the turning of the years.

John Winkelman lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His writing has appeared in the 1999 issue of Voices, the anthology Jot That Down: Encouraging Essays for New Writers, and other venues. In the past he has served as a director for Caffeinated Press and as the managing editor of The 3288 Review literary journal.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: