There is no science to sciatica,
just a series of sensations
most of them involving pain.
I don’t know how or when it comes,
but one day, it knocks on your door
and you clutch back and buttock.
It’s like a hawk at the bird feeder,
flown in from nowhere to shriek
and shred, unawares, one small bird.
Was it the flannel I dropped yesterday
when showering? I stooped to pick it up,
lunged forward, and that was it?
The pain came later. It kept me awake
all night, my worst nightmare.
No comfort anywhere. An endless
wriggling and every movement a knife
blade stabbing at my buttock and slicing
its slow, painful way down my leg.
The screws, my grandfather called it,
a metal screw screwed into his leg,
leaving him limp and limping.
I googled it today, sciatica, and they
suggested an ice pad for twenty minutes,
repeated twenty minutes later.
“Yes,” I muttered, “yes” and found
in the fridge the ice pack we used
to use in our Coleman’s cooler.
My beloved helped me undo my pants.
“This,” she said, “will be icing on the cake.”
“No,” I said, “it will be icing on the ache”
Tomorrow, I will call the chiropractor.
She will bend me to her will, straighten
my back, cure the pain, set me right again,
as long as Covid lets me in to her domain.