At Sixty
by Leland Seese

Master of the Greek declension, I stand
outside the clinic, powerless
to parse the fiery, dying maple leaf
in spiral dance on sharp October air.

Having learned my PSA is 5.1,
I wonder how to measure — ounces?
millimeters?, miles?, tears?,
or maybe ecstasies — my love for you
through all these years. The doctor

said Keep breathing as he probed
my aging prostate gland. I grumbled
to distract myself, arguing
the designated hitter rule must end.
(After all, the doctor’s an old friend.)

He asked, Ahem, if we have sex, as if
the answer after 40 years could not be
Yes. But Yes is what I said, as recently as
yesterday. He said there’s nothing wrong
with me. Come back next month, no sex
before. Your PSA will probably be normal.

Back at my desk, I translate Bible verses
for this Sunday’s sermon. εγω ηλθον ινα
ζωην εχωσιν και περισσον εχωσιν
I came that they have life,
and have it in abundance.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 1.

Leland Seese’s poems appear or are forthcoming in The South Carolina Review, The Stonecoast Review, The Christian Century, and many other journals. He and his wife live in Seattle with a revolving cast of foster, adopted, and bio children.

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