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?
from Poetry Northwest 10.2 Winter & Spring 2016More by Rebecca Hoogs from the library
Copyright © Rebecca Hoogs
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.