river road path, north/river road, path, south/32nd st, west/43rd ave, south
Winter running! I love the cold air, the snowy gorge. Encountered a few irritating runners who refused to move over to the other side of the trail. Had to run in the snow to avoid them. Are they really comfortable running that close to someone else, especially as we enter another, even scarier phase of the pandemic? I don’t get it. But, these two runners were such a small part of the run. The rest was wonderful. The sky was grayish-white which made everything seem other-worldly or at least at a distance from this world. Quiet and calm and empty, uncluttered.
Things I Remember
- The overpowering and mostly unwelcome smell of pork–bacon? sausage?–wafting down from the Longfellow Grill as I ran under the lake street bridge
- Voices down in the gorge, near the rowing club. Were they rowing in the water? On the shore? I couldn’t tell
- The crunch-cracking of feet striking hard shards of super packed and icy snow. The same sounds even louder as tires drove over the icy snow
- A wedge of geese–4 or 5–flying high in the gray sky
- Some yellowish-brown leaves still on a few of the branches in the tunnel of trees
- So many cars on the river road
As I ran, I thought about my latest mood ring poem. Relentless. Some lines popped in my head: “I am not the river but the limestone…” and “I am not the limestone but the river” and “I am both the limestone and the river.” Thinking about how the relentlessness comes both from me as I try to make sense of my vision loss and write about it and from the erosion of cone cells as they continue to destroy my central vision.
Encountered a poem this morning that I liked a little with one reading, then liked a lot after reading the poet’s explanation of it.
A Rogue Dream/ Melanie Figg
after Olivia Gatwood
I get ready for my first day as the new girl in high school
already knowing what not to wear. I dress perfectly
to stand out and disappear. I know how to put on
makeup, and I do it exactly right. My hair
looks awesome, of course! I step onto the bus,
pause by the driver, raise my arms like a superstar,
and meet the eyes of my adoring audience.
Three different beautiful girls punch
each other in the face to have me sit next to them.
I decline and the school’s most lovely, artsy boy
slides over to make room. He knows his feelings
and only goes too far
when he honestly misunderstands. He’s one of the safer ones.
I walk down the halls and no one makes fun of me.
I pass the section of lockers where her locker is, and
she is there, taking a book out of her backpack.
She’ll go running this weekend, as usual, and won’t
be followed. The man who won’t be following
her has already followed half a dozen women
to rape and kill and leave in the woods. But she won’t be
followed. She’ll survive her fate this time, and come back
to school on Monday, avoid the mean girls in the bathroom.
She’ll pick on the new girl, call her a virgin of all things.
She’ll limp her way through math, cheat a bit in science,
do pretty good in history and English. She’ll graduate,
and go to the state school on a track scholarship. She’ll
have two girls and keep them safe. She’ll almost forget
about this other ending: her in the woods near her house,
staring at the ground beneath her, wondering why.
This line! “Three different beautiful girls punch/each other in the face to have me sit next to them.” And the ending with the reimagining of the girl as not being followed. Wow.