Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Eating up Road

I want to be a runner. I want to run,
and eat up road like a Nike ad chick--
svelte, cool, lean. The un-soccer mom who’s softened,
chosen stillness over sweat, her goals suspended
in “later,” her energy abandoned in “before.”
I call her out from in me and cast her off.

The fraction of energy, the time in my off
hours it takes to chase the path and run
toward my dream is scant. Why, before
this year, was it beyond me, for chicks
with shoes and sweatbands? My grit suspended,
midair like Ferlinghetti’s Beauty, I wait, softened.

Had my fear not eased and softened,
my waistline would instead. Sighing defeat by age, I set off
once: to start. Ran, walked, ran again. Suspended
disquietude, owned pain, set playlist and ran
to the lake. Then the creek. Then the loop. Then some chick
inside my body, said “this is yours, now, if not before.”

Ribbons of road and trail that lay before
me reworked to anxious strands unwoven in my wake--softened
thoughts the rhythm helped me still. Like a chick
to hen I returned worry free, peace-filled and safe, off
days and powerful alike. The course run,
the box checked, the busy thought suspended.

The time is mine. Each milestone swings suspended
far enough ahead that I must reach before
myself to grasp it. It’s still pains me enough to run
that truth belies accomplishment. Resolve is not softened,
though; this one I need to win. To shake it off
and quit, I’d not be a runner, but just another chick.

My shoes kicked off, the sweat of runners’ chic
weeps down my spine, my heavy breath suspended in balmy evening air.
“Runner” is just before me, wrapped in throb and beat (but by persistence, softened).

...

From time to time I like to try my hand at various poetic forms. I find that it's a good mental exercise. I wrote this one this afternoon after my run. To read any of the other poems I've written, click the poem category on the right side. This poem is written in the format of a sestina, just like May Sestina, which was about our vow renewal. That means that the last word of each line in the first stanza repeats in each additional one, in a different order. Didja notice? Anyhoot, hope you enjoyed it. Photo, as always, from Flickr.

-HP

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