In the background
Motherless Children played
The guitars whining,
An expression of hardship after death
Electrified in a way that
Makes the stress of loss
Come alive; more so
After the news sent my way yesterday.

In the background
My heart is beating,
A dull kind of sound,
A melancholy expression of sadness
Tamped down by the thoughts
Of a family
Who lost their patriarch way too soon.

My thoughts are distracted
By my minor maladies,
Physical, existential, shallowness
For I’m locked in on the music
While banging out reps
To undo the knots of endurance
Tying up my calves.

It’s a kind of half awareness
Of my pain
Being pushed aside as insignificant
By a death,
The real kind of pain
The one affecting everyone
Who is left behind.

Suddenly the foreground exploded in sound,
Rantings and ravings about Democrats,
The supposed ruination of America
By one party.
Then there were justifications about Republicans
Having never held up government just because of Obama.
(Who was the Supreme Court justice that was blocked???)

My foreground radar scanned for a way out,
Because I’m not one for how things are,
Especially, today, when the weight of life
Makes government insignificant,
Makes the salaries of pro athletes insignificant,
Makes the new year’s resolutions of late arriving exercise devotees,
Well, insignificant.

I just wanted to work out,
Think the thoughts I was thinking,
Not bothered with the pettiness of politics,
Income envy, or outright inconsideration of the sanctity
Of working out.
I just wanted to stretch,
Which I suppose I was doing.

I hid behind a yoga strap tugging my taught hamstring,
Gradually falling out of the conversation
And into visions of a home by the sea, courtesy of Genesis.
I again felt for my former students and their mother
Who are dealing with real issues,
Greater than political dissonance or muscular insolence.
God bless.

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