Lifeline Grasping—Mid 40s, That’s the Way Of Things.

Clear cloudless skies
Spread across Match afternoon
Horizons promising
Even better weather for
Upcoming spring half marathons
Before bursting open with
Summer’s potent heat.

Vibrant and healthy
As far as I know
(No news is apparently good news
After an additional mammogram reading
And record acquisition
From previous scans
Done at another diagnostic facility
Four years prior)

I relax, legs crossed,
On a bench to wait
For the bus home after
A lengthy, productive workout.

Stretching, balance, core exercises
And lighter weight lifting
Keep my body limber—
A calculated waiting game
With shorter runs
During the next two weeks
To allow myself
To rest and build up energy
For the race.

I know I’ve got to be doing well
And have achieved a level of success
In this area of my life
That some women envy and
Would “die” for
Partly because of its
Unattainability for them.

“What exactly is it you do
To keep in such good shape?
I want to look like you,”
Friends, acquaintances and
Even random strangers
Have confessed throughout the years.

Aware of these gifts,
I’m thankful that
My middle aged body is so cooperative
And remains striated and strong
As ever
Rippling with vitality.
I don’t take this
Good fortune for granted.

Still, I falter at times
Like today.

I’d said before that
No one is going to
Ruin my race experience this time
For any reason whatsoever
But now I’m not so sure.

I’m weak and allow heavy dread
To pull me under thick sea grass
Knotting and keeping me
Stuck below,
Choking into depths of
Unmarked pathways best not taken
Robbing me of necessary
Positive mental focus
Crucial during pre-race
Preparation time.

Biking where I have no business
Being in the first place
Thin wheels stymie on rocks
Making me tumble
Up and over handlebars
To stumble and fall hard leaving
Torn skin, burns,
Angry abrasions,
The thudded impact
Broken collarbone,
Wind knocked out of me,
I’m wholly unable to rise
Let alone move.

Will someone happen to
Pass this empty canyon trail
And find me?
Upon seeing my crumpled body
Lying in the dust,
Will anyone stop and help me?

As time inches me closer and closer
To a different,
Monumental phase of life—
Where both kids have left the house—
Thereby ending
The most active segment of
My stay-at-home mom role,
I begin to look about me..

Relationships, priorities,
Desires, intentions,

Redefining what and who
Are in my best interests
To keep in my world
Even if the answers
Cause me emotional chaos,
Lifeline grasping.

Gut instinct gnawing,
Tapping whisps
Will tell me what I need to know
Even though I may not
Want to hear the information.

A gloved feeling around
Beehived colonies
Flitting about
Inside my stomach.

I’ll get there…


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