as a parting cheer

the three things I learn about elms over the weekend:

that the leaves are rough,
exfoliant , k rubs one on her arm,

that the base of each leaf is asymmetrical,
t puts her hands side by side with all of her fingers lined up and then shifts them slightly away from each other to demonstrate for me

what about the bark?
and that the bark
is squishy.

3 for 3! j says as a parting cheer as we go our separate ways, walking barefoot on the sidewalk back to our respective houses, sneakers and socks in hands, hair still dripping with river water,

referring

to the running ((around the block, past the young tulip poplar(newly pointed out to me with its signature-ly shaped leaves), and the autumn olive, (snacked on a few berries yesterday)crossing three streets, and all along the community garden)),
and the jumping (our sweaty bodies into the river) that we have done consistently every morning of this
long holiday weekend,
the holiday that has been/is being
redefined as indigenous peoples day, catching on in this (smallish) city, as it says on the door of the library,

forbes will be closed Monday for indigenous peoples day

the parting cheer is especially for the
swimming in warm and rainy october, and
for celebrating that up until this point in (my) history i’ve firmly believed that i didn’t like running simply for the sake of running, and
i’m not sure if the habit will last but for the moment it doesn’t matter because my cold river running warm raindrop body feels happy and
alive.