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My Cane

by Al Beay

My cane is my constant companion.

When I’m trying to get somewhere using my feet my cane is my good leg.

It goes to the bathroom with me; it walks in and out of the house with me.

When I get in my car my cane goes first.

When I come home from work my cane enters the house before me.

When I’m sitting and I reach for my cane my dog knows I’m going some place. The dog knows to stay away from my cane, not because I would hit her with it, but she knows it has to keep me steady or I’ll fall.

My grandson knows I need the cane to get around. He’s five years old and he’s known about the cane since he could crawl. Sometimes when I’m not using it he pretends it’s a rifle. That makes me smile. Not the cane, him.

My cane is a necessary evil. Although it has kept me from falling many times, it gives me no pleasure and is not my friend. It’s not my enemy, just not a friend.

I own many canes. Some are wood, some are metal. One is only used in the house; one is only used at work. The work one has a metal attachment with spikes on it that swings down in winter for walking on ice and snow. There’s a wood one I use with my scooter, and another wood one I use with the tractor when I cut the grass.

When I go to bed the house cane leans against the dresser and wall waiting for me to get up. Sometimes it seems there are canes all over the house.

When I sleep my cane is never in my dreams because when I dream I don’t need a cane, I can walk and climb and run like a normal person. Only in my dreams.

When I die I don’t want my cane anywhere near me.

Then I’ll be free of it.

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