Be Right Back (Reprise)


This tale’s as true as true can be
Though more that somewhat unlikely
The reader who’s disposed to doubt
Might choose to take an easy out
There must be something pressing you
Can think of suddenly to do —

I’ll tell it to the rest of you:

One evening someone close to me
Advised I be examinee
Of a spinal specialist
Told me that I did not list
How bent my back had come to be
Concerning him concerning me —
I could not but with this agree

And sure enough, they put me wise
My spine ser’iously compromised…

And so, for the next year or two
I taught myself careful to view
Each bend and twist for its effect
Before to make it I elect
Since I might not me reperfect
I chose to limit motion to
Those functions I gave weight unto
Importance, meaning, gravity
Some higher reason so to be
On a sort of inner scale
Enabling longer to prevail
This body which had served me well

Then one day, sitting in my room
Near the set of evening’s gloom
Imagine my complete surprise
To feel my careful body rise
With bending, twisting, arching spine
Seeking itself to new align
Weird arm and leg postures combine
Until perhaps five minutes passed
Of such contortions — then at last
Came the peaceful moment when
I felt it sit back down again

By then, being a veteran
Of light spirit intervention
I thought I sensed such had begun
But when I asked, no answer came
No influence that I could name
Seemed to say it had a part
In whatever had got its start
So, from experience again,
Allowed the influence to wane
And reaccommodated pain
As I’d become accustomed to
By limiting what I could do

About another week went by
Then, once again, astonished I
Felt this form begin to move
In ways I hardly felt behoove
A spine which life so compromise
But this time I did realize
An entity to put me wise
To present workings present be
So asked it to explain to me
What the heck was going on
Put such strain my form upon

Replied he, “This is Edgar, and
I’d like for you to understand
So that you can lend a hand
In the work we are about:
We think that we can help you out
And you perhaps help us as well
But I to you some risks must tell
And then you might a moment take
Your best decision so to make —
There’s really quite a lot at stake!”

First visit diagnostic was
Evaluation of pain’s cause
And the probability
Significant healing to see
And afterward then off he went
To visit with a certain gent
Upon his recruitment bent
And got considerably more
Than he had even bargained for
For when the gent he came unto
There wasn’t one gent there, but two

Recruiting both, he brought them back
To do their work upon my back

In life these two had shared between
A calling: therapists had been
Back then, their partnership was seen,
Being domestic also, to
Much dishonor them accrue
A mighty struggle had they had
Their world had named them wrong and bad
And sought to block their every move

Stubborn they had been in their love
Allowing no influence of
Culture ignorant, unkind
Oblivious — ay, deaf and blind
To the bliss that each create
For his precious treasured mate

So, one way, Edgar said to me
In which I might some helpful be
Would be to bathe these lovely two
In my deep tolerance of view
Which tribute pays all love unto
Respecting all who trouble take
Some other happy one to make

Yet larger than this issue be
Experimental therapy
Powerful — delicate as well
A chance there were to make me well
But, unfortunate to tell
Also a chance my case reverse
And make me suddenly much worse
Prospect difficult to bear:
Probably not in a chair
But flat upon my back would be
In Welfare home, miserably
Small further joy this life to see

Long story short, I acquiesced
We lost no time — put to the test
Practise and theory converged
And the S-curve reemerged
Which disease had put to flight
Decades ago, now coming right
Within a mere two days and nights

But that was just a set-up to
Demonstrate what they could do
There was a long, long path to walk
Before we might begin to talk
Of any final victory
Before lasting result we see
I walked that path most painfully
For two years from that fateful date
In agony hard to relate

They called their practice “Be Right Back”
And straight away moved to attack
Deposits on each spinal bone
Impossible deal with alone
Gave truly supernatural
Unflaggingly attentive all
Went on twenty four hour call
And took by turns each one a shift
My aching spirits so to lift
Maintaining such a monitor
Though there were risk, small risk it were

Whole days and then whole nighttimes I
Maintained position propping by
In yoga posture wrapped around
Myself till I was but a mound
Of pressure in which pain abound
Keeping myself perfectly still
By Spirit-aided stubborn will
Until that calcium popped free
In unabated agony

After a minute’s rest or two
Moved the next vertebra unto
Till obvious result we knew

For two long years we worked this spine
In effort to it realign
And through it, as I woke and slept
Their humor up my spirits kept
Something encouraging to say
Long running streams of words at play
Smoothing the rough and painful way

Then, on a morn remembered sweet
This woman ran across the street!
After which we then commence
Promote me into maintenance

And a good thing we did, for then
Life caught back up with me again
And for the following two years
I faced the hardships, hunger, fears
Of those, finances in arrears,
Who must continue homelessly
In motion perpetually

But for the work of those sweet two
I’d not be here writing to you
But writing to you here I be
I feel — most miraculously


The poet/editor of this website is physically disabled, and lives at a fraction of her nation’s poverty level. Contributions may be made at:

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