Last Monday, I watched Meb Keflezighi’s last three miles of the 2014 Boston Marathon on the edge of an ottoman in front of the television in my St. Louis home while my kids ate breakfast in the next room.
As is often the case with my poetry, I use the actual details of things in my environment to explain what I am feeling or convey an emotion. Sometimes this is through memories reaching up to the present, other times the metaphor collides in space and time. "hunger" is one such collision. The entire poem is contained in the image. I've also included the text below.
Written in memory of 4.15.2013 and the moment of silence at the start of the Big Sur Marathon 13 day after...
There really was a stuck door, with an old wooden frame that swelled with the weather and I'm sure had many other tiny imperfections adding up to its unwillingness to open. But I was also young (college or maybe a little after) when I first wrote this poem, and am sure I was angry at some recent disappointment that seemed oppressive and inescapable at the time. One of the greatest things I've learned over the years is that there is always a way if you really want one. Warning: contains some "bad" words.
Teachers are savvy about finding what they need for students and lessons in their classrooms. They scour websites and thrift stores and pick people's brains for ideas and resources. When it's for the success of their students, barriers crumble by the sheer power of their will and passion.
Unofficially, I'm taking a stretch break. Officially, I'm freaking out. My chest feels like an out of rhythm college hippie drum circle, my quads like each kid is sitting on one, my right knee like a thick jello is holding it in place, my left heel like it's been fossilized or petrified. It's my birthday damnit. All I say I want is a peaceful morning run, but what I really want is to not feel like I'm failing at this too, like my body isn't breaking down.
on this birth day
dreams rise up unexpectedly,
push me out from under my pavilion
to appreciate fear
of storms and sun and