nov 23/RUN

4.5 miles
franklin loop
25 degrees

Ran with Scott. Cold, windy but sunny. Lots of wonderful shadows — ours, trees, lamp posts. Running across the lake street bridge at the end, the railing shadows made a cool pattern on the sidewalk. Combined with the breath-taking (at least for Scott) wind, it created a strange, untethered effect. Felt like I was floating or hovering or moving without touching ground. I asked Scott how he experienced it, and he said he was too focused on avoiding all of the groups of people approaching us on the bridge. Also seen on the bridge: a flyer posted on several of the posts that read “Killed by Israel.” I suggested to Scott that it should read, “Killed by the Israeli government.”

Found this poem the other day and it makes me think of how often I mistake one thing for something else as I run around the gorge:

Mistake/ Heather Christle

For years I have seen
dead animals on the highway

and grieved for them
only to realize they are

not dead animals
they are t shirts

or bits of blown tire
and I have found

myself with this
excess of grief

I have made with
no object to let

it spill over and
I have not known

where to put it or
keep it and then today

I thought I know
I can give it to you

I have to think about the ending some more — what does it mean to me? — but for now, what I like about this poem are the opening lines and the idea that other people also think they’re seeing dead animals when they’re actually seeing something else. I often think I’m seeing dead squirrels, when it’s actually a furry hat or a glove. These mistakes don’t make so sad or produce excess grief, just confusion and uncertainty and a little bit of morbid fascination.

I just realized what it means to me — the you is us, her readers. And she’s right, she is giving it to us, not as a burden to bear, but as an experienced shared. I love that about poetry, how you can write or read a poem and feel less alone, (a little) more understood.