A memory just now
moves through me
like an arrow of light
A memory
not of spinning orbs
but Auntie rubbing her right knee
round and round
I see myself meet her pained eyes
glance at knees swollen landscape
then quickly look away
Not me!
What? Not to skip
past my ancient oak?
Not me! What?
Not to run home from school?

Sometimes now
when I stroll
drenched in starlight
I hear my right knee tick-tick
I feel it puffy like a rising yeast bun
I rub it round and round and
I remember her fancy cane
keeping 1-2-3-hop
while we-kids whirl a wild polka
She smiles resilient
winks at flamboyant moves

Tonight, I sit under sky
overrun with stars
rubbing my right knee
round and round
my older mind translates
her pained look, her rubbings
her percussive cane
Tonight, I sit
aging under the stars
I hold her eyes
for a long moment;
gently rub her knee
round and round