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Ode to My Right Knee

ISSUE:  Spring 2014

Listen to Rita Dove read her poem.

Oh, obstreperous one, ornery outside of ordinary

protocols; paramilitary probie par 

excellence: Every evidence
you yield yells. 

No noise
too tough to tackle, tears

springing such sudden salt
when walking wrenches: 

Haranguer, hag, hanger-on—how
much more maddening 

insidious imperfection?
Membranes matter-of-factly

corroding, crazed cartilage calmly chipping
away as another arduous ambulation 

begins, bone bruising bone. 
Leathery Lothario, lone laboring 

gladiator grappling, groveling 
for favor; fair-weather forecaster, fickle friend,

jive jiggy joint: 
Kindly keep kicking.


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