In sickness and in health by Marilyn J. Dykstra to my husband In youth, we hiked up mountain peaks, Chased thunderstorms over passes, Crossed knife edges and snowy patches, Waded icy alpine streams that rush downhill. Turning sixty, my knee began to creak and ache Then replaced with titanium, plastic, and glue, You cooked, cared, and coached me back to health, So we could hike through hills of purple lupine. But tonight, you lie in bed and wake me up To fetch our son to lift you out In dead of night to take a piss And to your face bring a smile or flinch. This morning, I lead you beside creek banks of poppies Waiting for thumps from my cane in your hand.
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Marilyn J. Dykstra has been passionate about walking in nature ever since she walked out her backdoor as a child growing up in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York. Now as an adult living in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two young adult children, she is combining her two passions of walking in nature and writing poetry. She has a B.A. with a major in Spanish from Northwestern College in Orange City, IA, and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. She has lived all over the US in upstate New York, Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Georgia, and California. Wherever she goes, she enjoys hiking and backpacking with her family and dogs, in addition to Nordic skiing, snow camping, and canoeing.re