On rising, I, with labored strain,
Outstretch my arms until they stop;
I know they cannot further go
When feel I dull the pain,
And I their burdens drop;
By this must I their limits know.
My legs, from seeming out their place,
Extend too far and, pulling, burn,
And, threating dislocation's crack,
Return I them to brace;
This breaking point I learn,
Relaxing them to rest and back.
The mind, which governs body whole,
And holds dominion absolute
Above the fleshly universe,
Maintains a private role,
Preserving systems, mute,
Removed from joints' unknowing curse.
When opening my eyes to day,
It thinks of how refreshed am I,
The feeling after thankful rest,
And somehow, elbows stray,
And knees snap as I lie
At not a willing brain's behest.
As idle as a careless dreg
Reclining on a corner curb,
It perches past the work of bone
Abrading femur's peg;
No effort to disturb
Displays it, keeping to its own.
At but the time when harm is felt,
The mental faculties alert,
Of damage done appraising me;
So only when is dealt
Some injury, I hurt,
Before some pitied hint I see.