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Posts Tagged ‘walking’

When in Rome




What a loss it would be
to not have born so I
would have missed a
Thursday night like this
in which my son and I
walk the dark streets
in Georgia and watch
the lightning transform
the sky into pink flares
and smell some sweet
unnamable flower and
talk about Dodge Chargers
and knees and roaches—
I swear it has all been
worth it, every second
of fifty-one years, for this
hour in which there
are no bells, no shoulds,
no other tugs except
to take the next step
down the centerline
while in the distance,
raps another clap
of thunder.

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charting our course
using mushroom rings—
earthbound constellations

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I see my old self walking down.
She doesn’t have a mask in her pocket.
She doesn’t move to walk six feet away.
She leans in to hug me, as if it were the most natural,
ordinary thing to do. She looks offended
when I offer her an elbow.
She doesn’t yet know how a virus
will use genome origami to infect and replicate
inside host cells with terrible efficiency. 
She doesn’t know the schools will close
and the stores will close and the streets will close
and the doors will close and it will all happen
in a week. She doesn’t know her daughter
will cry herself to sleep each night for weeks.
She doesn’t know her son will slip
into a darkness and rage she will try to carry.
How the days of her calendar will empty.
How pixilated her life will become.
How the hospital won’t let visitors in .
How she will miss her mother, her father, her friends.
How millions and millions will die. 
And that’s just the health of it.
Part of me wants to tell her what’s coming.
I don’t.
Part of me wants to hug her back,
and I can’t quite explain why I do.
Because innocence.
Because she will be here soon. 

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Daily First Step



 
 
Every morning before I rise,
I crawl into my body, as if,
inside this grown woman
lives an infant still learning
what it is to be in a body,
what it is to move forward,
certain there is a world
I want to wobble my way through,
run through, even dance,
if only I can first find a way
to stand in it.
 

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walking in chill air
beside the frozen creek
warm words

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Learner

Just because I don’t see the edge

doesn’t mean the edge isn’t there.

Walking with Amy through the scrub oak woods,

I had no idea that just to my right

was a deep canyon. I could have walked on for miles

believing the world was flat

if she hadn’t suggested we walk off the trail

to see the gaping chasm.

It wasn’t that she was trying to teach me,

she was just doing what she does—

straying from the path to see what else is there.

Now I am looking everywhere for edges—

in every conversation, in every thought.

Now, I am looking at everyone as a teacher.

I have no idea what they see that I don’t.

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Who is this woman so concerned with arrivals?

Doesn’t she know we are writing about paths?

What is her rush to get to the meadow?

What does she think she will find there?

She missed the sunflowers in the garden,

a whole row of luscious bright yellow bloom.

She missed the chatter of the chipmunk,

the hot scent of rabbit brush almost like sage,

the mica glistening like crushed starlight beneath her feet.

She is like one of those trucks on the highway,

a blur, a roar, an impersonal thundering.

Oh, see, now that she thinks she’s arrived somewhere,

now she starts noticing the field,

the crunch of dry grass, the dirt, her own short shadow.

Funny, she looks lost, standing there with her pen and paper,

her longing to find something worthwhile to say.

Should we tell her it’s okay,

that the lack of arrival could be her new point A?

And everywhere she looks, a new path.

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Oblivious

Don’t tell the woman

walking on the dirt road

that there’s a large bear

six feet to her right

in the dense spruce woods—

at the rate she’s walking

she’ll be past it soon,

and what she doesn’t know

isn’t hurting her for now.

What good comes

from knowing all the dangers

life may not have in store?  

See, she’s past the bear now.

She’s talking to the squirrel

who chatters wildly above her.

And, looking across the road

at the light glinting off the river,

she’s smiling, not even knowing

just how many reasons

she has to smile.  

*By the way, friends, I DO think it’s important to be prepared, even if (especially if?) you’re oblivious. I carry bear spray with me on my walks, and I really was six feet from the bear, yikes. But we stared at each other and it was disinterested in me, whew. And I hightailed it outta there.

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Freedom

 

To walk alone

on the dirt road.

Whatever the weather,

to be grateful for it.

To step and step

and step again—

not toward an end,

but for the joy

of stepping.

Squirrel tail.

Creek scent.

Swish of last year’s leaves.

Nowhere to be

but here.

And the next here.

And next.To know

the self as traveler.

To know the self

as road.

To know each step

as freedom when

there’s nowhere

to go.

 

 

 

 

 

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            for Donna

Today, for an hour,

I let the only news be

my body, my friend,

and the road we walked on.

Our footsteps kept time

to our chatter. We

spoke of family and fear,

health and uncertainty,

friendship and transformation.

We smiled and worried

and reveled in the day.

The hills were steep,

and we liked it that way.

Later I try to remember this—

how sometimes I choose

a challenging path on purpose.

How all the while

we huffed up the hill,

we were surrounded

by bird song, by laughter.

How speaking of difficult things

makes them less frightening.

How the road was a pleasure

when we walked it together.

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