“Stretch” must be a biblical word, regardless of one’s age
(an extension, a straining) like a two-year-old
reaching on tiptoes towards her Father, not unlike
the discomfort of unfolding old bones and well-used knees,
joints so stiff they’ve forgotten how to bend.

I want to stress and press past the comfortable,
groan with the growing, the knowing that daily
I must reach, pushing back against all that stagnates and stifles
learn to lean, in, out, up, force myself to taste the hard that makes

me healthy like a spoonful of unwanted needful medicine,
and hold on, taut as elastic, grow with each reach,
a creature who craves comfort but who knows in the end
it’s creating I need. I need making.

I need my Maker.
So I flatten palms against wood,
face towards the carpet and breathe,
count 15 and slowly rise, praying for muscle memory
to travel past the limits of flesh and into my soul, where lazy lives,
snap me out of my haze, like a rubberband
rebounding from a l o o o n g pull.

I rise and rest at my desk, write the word “stretch”

in the Webster’s margin on the “S” page.

A fitting Biblical addition, I notice.
It’s right above the word “surrender.”


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