marshall loop to cleveland
Wet air, wet ground. Everything bright green or muddy brown. Overcast. Ran up the marshall hill and past Cretin to Cleveland. As I approached St. Thomas, I wondered if I’d hear the bells. Yes! Dum dum dum dum at 11:15. Encountered a few other runners, some walkers, bikers, a dog. Scanned the river for rowers, saw a paddleboat! A Mother’s Day brunch? Heard a black-capped chickadee calling out fee bee fee bee, then some blue jays screeching ha ha ha ha. Running right past a bush, a red bird suddenly flew out if it, a whirr of red in my face. Later, heading down the Summit hill, heard the shimmering (or tinkling or fluttering or ?) of water falling over the limestone ledge at Shadow Falls. Noticed near the end of my run that the forest below the tunnel of trees is hidden by a veil of green. I thought about how nice it was that the gnats and mosquitoes hadn’t arrived yet — or the catkin fluff from the cottonwood trees.
A very relaxed run. A nice way to spend a Mother’s Day morning. I don’t feel too sad today, but I don’t like Mother’s Day — especially since I lost my second mother last fall. My current take on the day: it irritates me. Anyway, here’s a beautiful mother poem that I was happy to find this morning:
I Inherit the Whims of my Mother As I Prepare to Trash This Draft/ Donna Vorreyer
I discover a piece of stationery, bordered with red-gold
leaves. In the center, her cramped hand reads simply
The snow is so so white today.
How odd to read these words in June, air hung with
humidity, sweat jeweling my lip. Just that one line,
stuck in an old calendar underneath a stack of books.
I upend each one, fanning the pages to search for more
and out they flutter like doves, each one scribbled like
urgent messages from some simpler beyond–
That red bird is back, crashing into the window.
Railroad tracks are the saddest things.
The wood is pretty where it is rotting.
If I could revise our lives, make her survive the cancer
that burned fast and bright through her insides,
I would tell her how wrong she was to say she couldn’t
write, how much I am like her with my mundane
notes, my daydreaming observations, post-its
congregating in each bag, notebooks on each surface,
and I would sit with her and notice every moment,
rebuke her for thinking she was not good enough,
a mistake I still make, one that I am making right now
as I question and regret each line I add to this poem.
I want to talk to her. I want to tell her that cardinal
is back, flying straight at the window again and again.
If I could revise our lives, make her survive the cancer/that burned fast and bright through her insides,
After stopping my run at the ancient boulder and crossing the river road, I pulled out my phone and recited a poem that I memorized a few years ago and am memorizing again as part of my 100 poems memorized goal: The Meadow/ Marie Howe. I listened to my recording while looking at the poem just now. Not too bad, only a few missed words, one mixed up line.