april 2/RUN

4 miles
edmund, south/45th/edmund, north/32nd street, west/43rd ave, south
51 degrees
Deaths from COVID-19: 18 (MN)/ 5100+ (US)

Bracing for scarier weeks as the virus continues to spread in the U.S. Minnesota is supposed to reach the peak in late May/early June. Ordered groceries (including toilet paper) online to pick up. It will be ready on Saturday, April 11th. Glad we’re stocked until then. Such strange, unsettling, terrifying, exhausting times.

Ran the new route that Scott and I discovered yesterday. South on Edmund, on the grass after 42nd street, past Becketwood, back on Edmund, right on 45th street, Becketwood, grass, north on Edmund, right on 32nd street/left on 43rd ave. It was 4 miles. Not too bad. Encountered a few people on Edmund but that was it. A nice route. It would have been nicer if I hadn’t been running straight into a 14mph wind for a lot of it. What do I remember? Listening to my feet shuffle on the grit. Noticing the river through the trees as I ran at the highest point on Edmund, between 36th and 35th streets. It was cloudy so it wasn’t glowing and too far to see any detail, but it was beautiful. I think I heard some birds. Don’t remember any woodpeckers. Oh–I think I heard a wedge of geese honking high up in the sky. Heard some chainsaws. Some people talking. Another runner said hello but I wasn’t sure if it was to me or someone else. Felt pretty good running. Don’t remember what I thought about. I do remember, as I returned on Edmund starting to feel too warm. Took my pink jacket off and zipped it up while running, then put it around my waist. Quite the feat. I probably looked ridiculous.

Last night, during one of the many times I got up with restless legs, I started composing a variation to “Auto-lullaby,” one of the poems I like to recite while I’m running.

A Pandemic Lullaby/ Sara Lynne Puotinen

Think of a sheep
reciting a poem;
Think of a tree stump
housing a gnome.

Think of your dog
asleep in a chair;
Think of that time
when you cut your own hair.

Think of a bird
that sings in your ear;
Try to resist
suffocating from fear.

Think of Cyclops Baby on
a garage door;
Think of a run, and
count to four.

If you are anxious, then
take a deep breath.
The outcome most likely
is sickness not death.

For now, I’ll stick with this ending, but I’m not satisfied. I’ll keep working on it. Read it to Scott and he didn’t really like my original first stanza: Think of a sheep/ cooking your breakfast;/ think of that summer/ when you visited Texas. Partly because he didn’t think it rhymed, partly because I’ve never visited Texas in summer. I’m not sure; I like how breakfast and Texas work together, but I decided to switch it up and connect it more to what I like to think about in order to feel better.

While searching for “april” in poets.org, I came across this poem. It’s not about April–well, it could be talking about April in Minnesota.

Because You Asked about the Line Between Prose and Poetry/ Howard Nemerov – 1920-1991

Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle
That while you watched turned to pieces of snow 
Riding a gradient invisible
From silver aslant to random, white, and slow.

There came a moment that you couldn’t tell.
And then they clearly flew instead of fell.