Here are two poems on freedom, the freedom of the body. Even though I am “athletic as a sofa,” I still love to move.
you pull yourself out of bed,
resisting the drag of the covers,
and slip outside in the half-light.
Today's just a smear in the east,
tomorrow stretches out along the open road.
your feet feel the asphalt,
that long grey ribbon winding on.
The rhythm of the road takes you;
each mile makes you stronger.
The hills are tough, but you last, you endure,
and you know it's all downhill after this:
the wind strips years from your back,
freedom whistles in your skull, and you don't stop
ever. You know you can go the distance.
first published in The Green Revolution
I’m walking on the beach this brisk November morning,
the bleached sea grass bending in the wind, when there,
up ahead, in the pewter waves, I see a surfer in his wet suit,
sleek as a seal, cutting in and out of the curl, shining in the light.
I’m on the far side of sixty, athletic as a sofa, but this is where
the longing starts, the yearning for another life, the one
where I’m lithe and long-limbed, tanned California gold,
short tousled hair full of sunshine. The life where I shoulder my board,
stride into the waves, dive under the breakers, and rise; my head shaking
off water like a golden retriever. I am waiting for that perfect wave to come,
so I can crouch up and catch it, my arms out like wings, slicing back
and forth in the froth, wind at my back, sea’s slick metal polished
before me. Nothing more important now than this balance between
water and air, the rhythm of in and out, staying ahead of the break,
choosing my line like I choose these words, writing my name
on water, writing my name on air.
published in my book More (C&R Press, 2013)
©2017 Barbara Crooker
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