Running down Ravenna today three ladies
with walkers stoppered the path. I prepared
to swing into the street but they single-filed
as I increased my pace around them—
legs machining, ponytail tassling—
a showoffy momentary Atalanta
as if to prove what? That I was more alive?
Aliver, a liver? Would remember this
when I was walkered? I knew I wouldn’t
unless I did this to it. So here it is,
end-aged you-me—-a spring Sunday
in 2015. I’m middle-aged, A is beginning-
aged (two years, two months);
the cherries starting at A again, too.
But this week a plane was felled
into the Alps and I keep putting myself on it,
keep feeling my stomach drop out
of the sky as we look at each other,
clutch the baby, know this is the end.
I flee the terrible suitors of my thoughts,
run through the mess the falling
has made of the run. I can’t say yes
to what they propose. My only power
is in saying no, no, no. Was that the MO
and more for the back forty,
my old lady?
Copyright © Rebecca Hoogs
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.