Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Uphill” by Tricia Knoll, a Songs of Eretz Frequent Contributor and this week’s Poet of the Week. A biography of the poet may be found in the “About Our Editor & Frequent Contributors” section.
My idea, not his.
That December night, slick sidewalks
reflecting the globes of theater lights
and wind stuttering the park’s dread trees.
He struggled. A fat man
in a thick green coat.
Half a left leg and a book bag.
A stranger in a wheelchair.
Rolling more sideways
than forward on the three-block hill.
I offered to push him past
the historical society
where the sidewalk levels out.
Halfway up the second block
I came to. My compassion was stronger
than my body. Lessons of finish
what I start kicked in.
I made it. Sweating.
To the hilltop
with that heavy man
I never will forget.
Poet’s Notes: I have a voice disability. I am not young. I try to be very attentive to the needs of people with other disabilities. This event is etched in my memory like the old-fashioned street lights on the Park blocks of Portland, Oregon; the rain on the slanted pavement, winter wind shaking trees. How hot I got.