gardner
Look,
though you know
by now that I have,
body and soul,
been broken
again
and again
and again,
I am all right.
It says so.
Right here.

It’s a surprise,
having seen
what I have seen,
that my face
is none the worse
for wear.
I’m often told
that I’ve aged well.
Appear younger
than my bald
and graying peers.

You cannot see it,
but my soul
feels freighted
beyond its actual years.

At night,
the lost wind their way
through my mind
so often now
I am rarely frightened.
Though if I do
cry out, there is
no one to tell me so.
Just as well,
not to know.

If once we were one
and now you
are long gone
you don’t know
how I miss you.

Listen, there is still
rhythmic pulse,
a sweet childlike hum
under the scar tissue.

Each day I still
rise with the light.
Appear before your eyes.
Make the most
of my motion.

All in all,
there is still something
left in me to love
if you are of the notion.

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Tony Gardner
Tony Gardner earned an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he won the Richard M. Devine Memorial Fellowship in poetry and served as poetry editor of the Mid-American Review. His work has been published in the Cincinnati Poetry Review, the Sonora Review, Willow Springs, The Literary Review, the Kansas City Star, Everyday Poems and other journals. Tony lives in St. Joseph, Mo. Contact him at tgard91268@gmail.com.

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