Lifting Weights at 60

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Years of skinny failures bring my body
to this last run up the flagpole. I will

not be denied. In the army we called
Tylenol ranger candy. Now I call it

morning, noon and night. Whatever it
takes to make the biceps and triceps curl.

The orthopedic surgeon says ease up:
“Motion is lotion, but you’re not 50 anymore.”

Still, I have earned the pleasure
of hearing one young bully tell another,

“Come on. Don’t fuck with him.”
Someone like that ought to stick to Twitter.

Push, pull. You never know at this age
if the Syntha-6 will make its way

to my arms or my arteries.
My wife says she hardly knows me

these days. That’s the point, isn’t it?
I say not to worry. This is just another

obsession like numismatics or prosody.
My daughter, the cross trainer, tells me

about micro tears and how they make
the muscle tissue grow. And don’t

forget stretching. She means well.
Everyone means well. Even me.

Lifting Weights at 60, a poem by Tim Skeen


Photo used under CC.




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About Author

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Tim Skeen is a member of the MFA creative writing faculty at Fresno State. He's the author of three books of poetry: Kentucky Swami, Risk, and Reward. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Antioch Review, The Southern Review, Rattle, 3 Elements Review, The Potomac Review, New Letters, and elsewhere.

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