may 4/RUN

locks and dam #1 hill loopmiles
60 degrees

Another warm day. Hooray! Another chance to run in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. Saw Mr. Morning! Heard some voices down below in the gorge. Ran down the hill then back up it at locks and dam #1. Noticed a big pile of something on the path — clumps of dirt, rock, is that a furry tail? Probably not, but I can’t tell. Often, I see dead squirrels that aren’t there. The river was blue and not quite as high as it was last week.

Mary Ruefle and pink

before the run

from My Private Property/ Mary Ruefle

Pink sadness is the sadness of white anchovies. It is the sad-
ness of deprivation, of going without, of having to swallow
when your throat is no bigger than an acupuncture pin;
it’s the sadness of mushrooms born with heads too big for
their bodies, the sadness of having the soles come off your
only pair of soes, or your favorite pair, it makes no differ-
ence, pink sadness cannot be measured by a gameshow
host, it is the sadness of shame when you have done noth-
ing wrong, pink sadness is not your fault, and though even
the littlest twinge may cause it, it is the vast bushy top on
the family tree of sadness, whose faraway roots resemble a
colossal squid with eyes the size of soccer balls.

Today, or this morning at least, I shall think of pink. Here’s another pink poem I bookmarked a few months ago:


Pink is an unhappy hue, not soothing like cerulean, nor calming like lavender or gray. It is the color of fingernails shorn away, blood dripping from the waxen quick. It is the color of a sunburned arm. The color of harm that lingers on cut shins for days. Pink is not the shade of buttercups or daisies. It is the color of poisonous brugmansia blooms, of poppies that bring on sleep. Pink saturates the face in anger. It is the cast left on a cutting board by a hunk of uncooked meat. Pink, too, is the bittersweet shade of passion subdued, passion that has slipped from burgundy to rose. It is only a tincture of desire and so carries the least conviction. It is the tint that drifts away unnoticed in the night. Be frightened of pink. Do not think it the innocent color of dresses or barrettes, the blush of areolas, strawberry snow cones, or grenadine martinis. Try, for once, to see it rightly. It is frightening. It is the hue of a person’s insides, the color of a womb. That room where life arises. That room where babies are made. Where arms, legs, and heads are created. Eyes, blood, and tiny teeth.

And some of my thoughts about pink:

Pink Thing. The pink of gray matter. Pink Think. Pinkaliscious. Preppy Pink and Green. Is it pink or yellow? P!nk. Undercooked meat. Pepto Bismol always pronounced Pepto Bismo. The worst milkshake flavor: strawberry. Pink washing. Peonies in the backyard, drooping dropping petals too soon. The only choice when buying cheap running shorts. My favorite running jacket. Raw. Fleshy. Swim caps.

during the run

Some of my pink thoughts as I ran:

Fuschia funnels. Almost invisible, usually seen as white or yellow or orange. A walker in a pink jacket — the color of salmon flesh.

Pink as tender and vulnerable. Split open, flesh exposed. That vulnerability is both a weakness or a threat but also an opportunity to transform. Open yourself up. Turn yourself inside out. What was out becomes in, and what was in becomes out.

Running, as I listened to a P!nk song — What About Us, I lifted out of my hips, opened my shoulders, and led with my chest. Open.

If all gray flesh is dead flesh (from Listen/ Didi Jackson), then is all pink flesh living flesh?

Gray matter (brain) looks pinkish because of the blood circulating through it.

Both of these facts are true: We live. We die. We are pink. We are gray.

after the run

Reading Facebook earlier today, a post from Henri Mancini popped up — why? James Galway is in New York with Lizzo to record a new version of the Pink Panther theme song. Excellent. Found an article about it with video here.

Came across this poem too — I encountered this poem a few weeks ago, but can’t remember where.

Gift/ Hilda Conkling

This is mint and here are three pinks 
I have brought you, Mother.  
They are wet with rain  
And shining with it.  
The pinks smell like more of them  
In a blue vase:  
The mint smells like summer  
In many gardens.

And one more thing, before I forget. Yesterday I happened upon this delightful line from a Ross Gay poem I gathered a few years ago for this blog: Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude/ Ross Gay

the tiny bee’s shadow
perusing these words as I write them.

Later, sitting on the deck on a warm, sunny day — finally! — and under the service berry bush that’s big enough to be called a tree, I saw a shadow on my notebook as I jotted down a note: a bee! Then another shadow, crossing the page, over my words. Were they perusing them? Love it.