A Body at Seventy-seven					 

I am the fortunate one, blessed
with a body relatively unscathed.

It could have been anywhere,  
anytime, out on the tennis court 
or pumping iron in my local gym

but there I am, on Friday, after nine days
exploring Prague, Vienna, and Budapest,
walking through the Hungarian Parliament,

looking at the crown of Saint Stephen
the treasured relic of the Magyars
with its bent cross, the room guarded by 
machine-gun-toting soldiers

when I feel a pull in the groin, like
an exposed nerve being twanged,
like my shorts digging into unsuspecting skin.

Three weeks later, after laparoscopic surgery,  
in which through three small holes, a five inch mesh
is magically inserted to meld with my flesh
forever sealing off the intruding gut,

here I sit in pain, waiting for that blessed feeling
to kick in again in my
seventy-seven year old still-fortunate body. 

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Crown of St. Steven

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