By Eric Dodd

My legs sprawled out from the bench where I sit
While I soak in my sweat and tongue out the grit
From my molars and savor each second of rest
Before I return for a personal best

I imagine each subsequent part of my set-up
Chalk my torn palms before stooping to get up
Trudge back toward the bar across the gym floor
A dejected ex-lover who’s come back for more
I step to the weight as if starting a fight
My body resilient, my fists clenched tight
Lower myself in a humble bow
To a weight never moved-at least until now

I push back the caution and doubt that I’ve felt
Unleashing Hell as I fasten my belt
Seizing the bar with resolute hands
Eschewing stares from those who don’t understand
Look up and tense through my heels to the ground
Pulling with madness, head up and butt down
The bar flexes upward then cracks off the floor
The weight lumbers, slumbers, encumbers me more

And as I strain through the physical strife
I loose sight of time and the bland chores of life
For this is my passion, though extreme in degree
And yes most wouldn’t guess, as the bar clears my knees,
That I’m feeling such joy by God’s own grace
Behind this beat-red frown on my face

And with every inch the bar crawls up my thighs
With every groan and pain-laden cry
With every moment the iron yields to me
Without a doubt, I am truly free.

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