june 10/RUN

3.6 miles
marshall loop
71 degrees

71 degrees at 9:30 in the morning. I need to start my runs earlier. Today is my daughter’s last day of school so I can. Hooray for not having to wake her up, help her find something to eat, get stressed out when school has already started and she hasn’t even come downstairs! Another good run. Hardly any wind, not too much sun. Dry. Too dry. I could feel it in my tight skin and the inside lining of my nose.

10 Things I Noticed

  1. the river, nearing the lake street bridge on the west side: such a pale blue it was almost white, a nice contrast with the vibrant green
  2. the river, heading east over the lake street bridge: still, quiet, no waves, no sparkling. Something about its flatness, combined with the unruly green made it look hot — not like the water was hot, but that being near it was
  3. the river, heading west back over the lake street bridge: the water was split with one half blue, the other half brownish-green — a reflection of the trees along the shore
  4. the river, standing at the overlook at the middle of the bridge: more cloudy currents below. What causes this? Is it sand bars, or something else?
  5. on the bridge, I noticed a big crane over on the St. Paul side. I wondered if I encounter it while running through the neighborhood (I didn’t).
  6. below the bridge, I noticed the walking trail was open again — they must have fixed the bit that caved in
  7. a runner ahead of me on the bridge and then running up the marshall hill. They kept going on marshall; I turned on cretin
  8. at the top of the hill, Blacks coffee looked mostly empty, at least the low of empty stools I saw in the front window
  9. today, I remembered running through the tunnel of trees. This time I was heading south instead of north. What I remembered: a blur of green off to the side, a paved path stretching far in front of me, no one else around
  10. no stones stacked on the boulder

Did I hear any birds out by the gorge? I can’t remember.


For days now a red-breasted bird
has been trying to break in.
She tests a low branch, violet blossoms
swaying beside her, leaps into the air and flies
straight at my window, beak and breast
held back, claws raking the pane.
Maybe she longs for the tree she sees
reflected in the glass, but I’m only guessing.
I watch until she gives up and swoops off.
I wait for her return, the familiar
click, swoosh, thump of her. I sip cold coffee
and scan the room, trying to see it new,
through the eyes of a bird. Nothing has changed.
Books piled in a corner, coats hooked
over chair backs, paper plates, a cup
half-filled with sour milk.
The children are in school. The man is at work.
I’m alone with dead roses in a jam jar.
What do I have that she could want enough
to risk such failure, again and again?