Physical Therapy by Jacqueline Jules

She massages my arm with the story,

relayed in a clinician’s calm voice,

of her brief marriage—


in the blink of his roving eye.

I wince as her fingers

knead a tender spot,

and nod my sympathy.

After the divorce, she tells me,

rubbing more salve in white circles,

she went back to school

to study the human body;

how injured limbs can be restored,

if surrounding tissue is strengthened.

And that’s how she came to be

touching my arm in this cubicle,

both of us dressed in comfortable clothes,

ready to battle the pain.



Jacqueline Jules is a teacher, poet, and author of 23 children’s books. Her titles include Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation, Duck for Turkey Day, and the award-winning Zapato Power series.