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leg_cramps4:18 a.m.




can feel it starting,
creeping down the back of my leg.
thought i’d beaten it this time,
gotten to my feet before it could begin
to twist and turn. but no…
my knee locked,
the hamstring coiled toward my ankle
where muscles circled it in a vice-like grip.
couldn’t stand, couldn’t sit.
the window sill and my husband
kept me upright while all i could do
was shake and whimper.

first one since Christmas.
muscles relentless,
tightening then relaxing,
tightening then relaxing,
no flex in the ankle.
husband massaging my hamstring
and slowly, slowly it and my knee relax.
finally my ankle unlocks and i can stand.
nausea subsides as i’m finally able
to stop groaning and gasp for air
coming through the open window.

eight minutes this time.
eight minutes in hell.
as the clock flips to 4:27
i grab ice packs for my back and hip.
the time is coming, and soon i fear,
to face down this monster that terrorizes me,
that lives to attack out of nowhere, unexpectedly.

but for now i sit popsicle-like and wait
for the ice and the tylenol
to work their magic one more time.