My mother knew a woman once who died
from vomiting, when she was 52.
I heard the retching caused a stroke that fried
her brain and took her life. The story’s true.
It made me understand how powerful
a normal body function can turn out
to be. A sneeze or twist or cough can pull
apart components we assumed were stout.
With every year now I appear more frail.
A tap will leave a bruise. A wound needs weeks
to heal and some repair is incomplete.
It takes no force to break a fingernail,
and coughing risks a torso tear. I’ve creaks
and leaks, and lately no surprise is sweet.