mississippi river road path, north
Sunny. Crisp. Cool. Great fall weather for running! This morning I ran a little more, walked a little less. 4 minutes of walking, 1 minute of running, six times. Felt okay. I listened to my playlist and didn’t pay attention to much other than the time, making sure I didn’t miss my minute of running or run too much.
Here’s what I remember:
- Walking under the oak? trees that line the path between the 36th and 35th street parking lots. Their gnarled branches stretching horizontally.
- Encountering the daily walker and wondering if he recognized me after my 2 month absence.
- Two runners passing me while I was walking, one right before the lake street bridge, one just above the floodplain forest, on my favorite part of the path, the part where I always check the progress of the leaves. Both had graceful, relaxed gaits.
- Seeing one of those runners run off the path onto the grass to avoid two path-hogging walkers. Wondering if my last running minute would start soon and then imaging running up behind the walkers, stepping off onto the grass, and displacing my kneecap again.
- Seeing lots of yellow trees, a few red, a few orange.
- Not encountering any dogs and very few walkers.
I’m working on a collage of writings about “the body electric” that might include an homage (of sorts) poem to the final part of Walt Whitman’s “I sing the body electric” from Leaves of Grass. Here’s what I have so far:
The Parts and Poems of the Body
I. The Knee
Bones, joints, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, muscles,
fibrous thickenings and fluid-filed capsules and sacs
make locomotion possible.
The femur, patella and tibia move
The fibula bears weight.
The tibiofemoral joint bends
the patellofemoral joint grooves
the rings of Meniscus absorb
the smooth white tissue of the articular cartilage transfers
loads of tremendous force.
The cruciate ligaments cross over each other
the collateral ligaments support
both link femur to tibia
the quadriceps tendon attaches
the quad muscles to the patella.
The quads, that four headed muscle of the femur, with its
vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedium
and rectus femoris bend and straighten.
The hamstrings, those string-like tendons in the hollow of the knee—
the semitendinosus, semimembranosus
and biceps femoris—extend and flex.
The adductor longus and the gracilis keep the runner upright
the beefy stomach of the leg, the gastrocnemius, points and lifts
the popliteus, devoted solely to the knee, rotates and unlocks
the Iliotibial band stabilizes and assists
the synovial fluid lubricates
and the bursae reduce friction.
O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul,
O I say the soul of the runner is the knee!