By LaDeana Mullinix
Not even a fourth of possible- that’s all
your arm and you will get without it-
Forty degrees of forward.
Think of playing ball with the bat
held level with your belly;
Think of desperately knowing the answer
and waving your hand flush with your desk;
Think of combing the sides of your hair
Think of cueing the cornets
with your baton not even
beyond the music stand.
But the scapula, like the wing of Gabriel,
glides along the ribs, its glenoid fossa
cradling the humeral head, coaxing it outward.
the scapula swivels, and bestows upon
the arm, the hand, the woman, the man
the wondrous gift of reach – out and up.
Up to dunk the ball
or whack it out of the park,
Up to toss tinsel on your Christmas tree,
Up to wave to your fella or your gal,
Up to comfort your child
or make a new one,
Up to somersault,
Up to dance hallelujah to your lord.
Be aware – master the magic of the scapula-
Be guided by the angel’s generosity:
out then up.
Reaching up before reaching out
restrains your range, pinches your potential.
Reach out. then up
and you might reach past
what you thought possible.
LaDeana Mullinix is a Quaker, a retired occupational therapist, a native Kansan, a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist. Her poetry and essays have been published in Friends Journal and Slant. Her poetry has been published in one anthology, and two were recently accepted in a forthcoming anthology featuring Ozarks poets, from the University of Arkansas Press.