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Posts Tagged ‘Running’

Going

She ran.
Pathways weaving like a seamstress needle
below and above fabric.
Under the lights of the gently bending street lamps
vision became unbearable
just long enough to be plunged back into darkness.
Alone with her thoughts
and her headphones.

Music in these times
is useless.
It makes her long for
skipping records again.
Like the scratchy heart beat
in her chest.
The way the arm claws at
a dark worn groove
only to hop back again.

If he could see her now.
Keeping beat
with a loose necklace
bouncing against her chest.
How he would laugh
as she ran
nothing but a silhouette
pressed against
the river banks.
The moonlight
catching on its
cold ink surface.
He always laughed at tragedy
and when she would cry.

She ran
until she saw the bench.
Her old dirty friend.
Falling like a fig into his arms.
Not to cry, but to laugh
and to skip stones
against the worn black
grooves of the river.

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The black asphalt leaks steam
as the sun rises. A short run
prolongs my morning caffeine
Long enough for me to travel a mile
of rough natural terrain.
A man, far larger than me, in a gray hoodie
is suddenly labeled a thief, or rapist, or murder…
He smiles and runs by. Perhaps he thought
I was young or pretty. Within time I will learn not to worry.

The air is a transparent mystery that fuels my breathe.
The sun rises over Mr. Patterson and his grocery store
he waves without any doubt that he is a perfect gentlemen
an old man of a different tradition.
He thinks the Sun is a miracle though in reality
it is a giant hostile ball of fire which hasn’t moved
in a million years. Yet it rises every day. Now that’s a miracle –
something appearing even though it never does.

Mr. Patterson often confuses beautiful things as miraculous.
As if nothing natural can be beautiful. He says the same about me
and has persisted in that illusion since I was a young girl.
Which despite its good intentions always made me feel
as though I was a disappointment. Needless to say this is why I run,
even though I should be home drinking coffee.

St. Mary’s church signals halfway – her shadow is a sundial –
I am running late. Though the graveyard is in shadows, as it should be,
the sidewalk is bathed in light. I turn right before Ash street
and head back. Patterson’s is open for business even though nobody
comes until after 8. My joints ache. I persistently tell myself
that the pain resides in my mind and push on.

The trees on either side of School street bend over the road
sheltering it from the sun. Light barely breaks through
allowing a runner some mercy. But I havn’t come for that
I have come to atone. So I turn up Old Hickory road
whose houses have displaced the hanging trees
and whose stone walls make the road almost cave-like
and foreign. Both roads intersect the road where I live
but Old Hickory Hill only breaks the flat earth
at this one point.

The ascent is the toughest part of the trip
and always appears as a giant gray wave
approaching from the horizon.
It is of the heritage of mythology
its titanic ancestor imprisoned Sisyphus
increasing the weight he must bear until, at its zenith,
it became impossible to move forward. Only back.
But I am not a Sisyphus, the burden is not on my back
I am a descendant of a different class
the fire wielders, born in caves, and emerged to conquer the earth.

The hill comes and goes. Its passing signifies a quiet victory.
No more a miracle than the sun. Just feet and steaming black tar.

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She rises before the sun
before I have gone to bed.

My headlights catch her looking upset
something like undead,
As if momentum at some point
will take her body further than her feet
and with the failure of every joint
would accept defeat
at the base of the man-made wall of stones
from whose cracks grows plants still living.

As the car passes I can hear her bones;
the torture that her body has been giving
causes them to cry over the engine.

She disappears like all things into the rear view mirror
A list of objects that appear closer than they really are.
Far enough away to be imagined.
But still too close to be forgotten.

Perhaps she was a dream, or a ghost, or an illusion
It has been too long without sleep to tell the difference.
I am still sixty years from home.
The car rocks in unpaved silence.
I started my trip over 20 years ago
Perhaps only to experience this moment
the sun rises over the forest.
It will go like all things and I will wonder
if it was anything more than  a ghost, or an illusion, or a dream.

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