river road trail, north/south
99% ice and snow-covered path, slick
Very slick outside today. A lot of ice covered with an inch or two of snow. That part of it wasn’t fun, but the rest of it — the cold air, the open river, the gray sky — was wonderful. Greeted Dave the Daily Walker. Passed Daddy Long Legs. Noticed all of the rusty orange leaves still on the trees near the tunnel of trees. Heard goose honks under the lake street bridge. Later, also heard some runner coughing as he crossed the bridge then turned down to enter the river road. No! Every few seconds, a deep cough, full of gunk. I sped up to try and stay ahead of him and his germs. It worked. For a few minutes, I kept hearing the jagged coughs, then it stopped.
Anything else? The river was brownish-gray, the sky sunless.
No headphones for most of the run. During the last mile, I put in an old coming-back-from-injury playlist: I heard “Upside Down” and “Fantastic Voyage.”
FWA is on band tour in Spain and France right now. 29 years ago, Scott and I were on our European band tour. 29 years ago? Wow. Very excited for FWA.
Sitting at my desk, writing this, I’m also looking outside my window at the robins running around on the snow and rooting in the hydrangea bushes for twigs? seeds? Quietly, they scamper then fly low right in front of me. What are they looking for?
Encountered a beautiful poem on twitter this morning that I thought I had already posted on my log but hadn’t.
A Stranger/ Saeed Jones
I wonder if my dead mother still thinks of me.
I know I don’t know her new name. I don’t know
her, not now. I don’t know if “her” is the word
burning in a stranger’s mind when he sees my dead
mother walking down the street in her bright black dress.
I wonder if he inhales the cigarette smoke
that will eventually kill him and thinks “I wish I knew
a woman who was both the light and every shadow
the light pierces.” I wonder if a passing glance at my dead
mother is enough to make a poet out of anyone. I wonder
if I’m the song she hums as she waits for the light to change
or if I’m just the traffic signal holding her up.
This poem was posted as part of a thread. I want to post the next one, which is by Todd Dillard (one of my favorite poetry people). I like his introduction of the poem in a tweet:
I have so many poems also grieving my dead mother by giving her a kind of life after life.
Mom Hires a Stunt Double/ Todd Dillard
Sick of all the impossible I ask of her
in these my griefiest poems,
Mom hires a stunt double: same white hair,
same laugh, same false teeth, same dead.
Now when I write “Mom curls like rinds in a bowl”
it’s her stunt double twisting herself into pithy canoes.
When I write “At night my mother sheds
the skin of my mother revealing more mother”
it’s her stunt double that unzips her body,
stands there all shiver and muscle and tendon,
waiting for the next line. “What’s in it for you?”
I ask, and Mom’s stunt double shrugs,
lighting one of those familiar Turkish Silvers
as behind her my mother mounts a Harley
and barrels into the margins. “You’re a good kid,”
the double says. But she doesn’t touch my hair.
This close to her, her eyes are all pupil,
all ink. Her smell: paper and snow.
When she exhales smoke spills from her lips
and unfolds into horses.
Oh, I love both of these poems!