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.

 

 

 

clunks gently

when there is a sudden downpour as i’m riding back from town
and i pass a man who is also riding
his bicycle, who gives me a thumbs up through the rain and calls out to me,
we’ve got two hurricanes headed our way

when the rain clears and the sky lights up orange and lavender and i shake off some of the dripping, and stop by c’s new house for a moment to check
in on the painting progress and give him a hug with my helmet on so it clunks
gently into his chin

 

identifying where it came from

identifying the pain in my right leg as
a bruised adductor muscle, (or strained or pulled) but not identifying where it came from, (the pain) only aware of the aching that this morning
extends all the way to my ankle.

walking,(limping) with s to the store and when we’re about half-way there is an explosion of thunder and the rain plummets down. is this okay? she asks and we both just smile, shrug our shoulders, and keep walking, occasionally singing my favorite new song that i learned over the weekend.

after most of the storm has passed, we are on our way home splashing through puddles in sandals for the first time this season, feeling the warm puddle water on our feet and the cool rain still dropping on our heads.