mississippi river road path, north
It’s amazing how 66 degrees can feel hot. My body needs to adjust to the warming temperatures. The run felt a bit harder, but it was okay. I can’t remember what I was thinking about as I ran. This is often the case. Thomas Gardiner refers to this feeling as “a bit like half sleep. when you’re awake, in a way, but aware of dreams passing in a kind of un-retraceable wandering” (7). What do we do with these un-retraceable wanderings? Maybe nothing.
Right before running, I composed two acrostic poems. I had been reluctant to try this form because my only encounters with it were through reading the acrostic poems my kids created out of their names in second grade. It seemed like a form best suited for young kids. But, when I looked up the form on Academy of American Poets, I was intrigued by their description: “The intent of the acrostic is to reveal while attempting to conceal within the poem.” So I experimented with creating poems out of two words that I think about a lot when I’m running:
A Daily Reminder
How does it feel to face your limits, when you’re
unable to continue ignoring that
many others will always be faster, stronger,
in better shape,
imagine wider, deeper?
This is not a tragedy.
Your liberation is found in this realization.
Can you Feel Them?
Can you feel them?
Really try to
imagine what they feel like, where they are.
You can’t? They’re there, amplifying life and charging it with meaning.
During the run, I thought of another word I wanted to use. I wrote about it when I got back home:
Heavy and thick, feeling
Useless and lethargic
Inside and out.
Don’t want to move. Running
Is hard, harder
You have no idea how much I despise this.
So much fun! So far, I’ve experimented with the following forms in my poetry about running: abecedarian, acrostic, anaphora, cento, cinquain, erasure, limerick, terza rima, triolet. Yesterday, I wrote an anaphora poem for my description of the Franklin Loop and limericks for my description of a route I’m calling the Downtown loop, long.
Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge
there is a long bridge with a name
that never does stay quite the same
You start out on Lake
but Marshall you take
if driving in St. Paul’s your aim
There once was girl who would run
up big hills ‘cause she thought it was fun
she never complained
although she was drained
Had she spent too much time in the sun?
A place on the path is called Flats
the namer of this was quite bats
the more that you stare
the more you’re aware
the hills here outnumber the gnats!
Washington Avenue Bridge
The bridge that you next run under
makes noises that sound like thunder
if not a rain storm
beginning to form
could be the light rail, I wonder.
A bridge here turns purple at night
in honor of Prince, a bright light
it guides your climb out
of perilous doubt
brought on by sore legs that feel tight.
run down a short hill and you’ll see
a building that looks like a bee
well that’s not quite true
it’s not black, it is blue
but it sometimes looks black to me
There once was a girl with gray hair
who ran anytime, anywhere.
She left for Stone Arch
the third day of March
as far as I know she’s still there.
Hennepin Avenue Bridge
there once was girl who would walk
her kid ‘cross this bridge quite a lot
she runs now instead
while her kid stays in bed
he’s grown and no longer a tot!