By halves

I cycle the scant half-mile to the boat launch.

It takes me nearly half an hour to swim

half a mile across the choppy, floppy lake.

I make it halfway back up the hill before

I have to stand up on the pedals to pump to the top,

trailing half the weed of the Great Lakes in my wake.

I am half a century old, which in cat years

is practically Methusaleh. Even so

my mother’s mantra haunts me:

Never do things by halves;

when I get home, I eat the whole cookie.

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