Ode to the Rotator Cuff

The body is a leaky vessel
When the rotator cuff is torn
It lists to one side
And the oars are powerless
To steer the boat

Its compass hovers with uncertain range
Directionless and unfamiliar with the sea
Its hull dashed against the wild waves
Its yard arm flapping helplessly in the wind

Ted Goodell
November 2017




I set my spoon down in the bowl,

A cave of light spirals

My eyes to the bowl’s depth.


A drop of soup provides

A shallow stream

For bowl and spoon,

A small sea

Which will not be removed

Lest bowl and spoon

Forget that they are

Transient tools

In a world drowning

Between chaos and the moon.


Ted Goodell