The last time my feet hit turf with confidence and speed,
I had just started my 13th trip around the sun.
The grass moist with dew, air shimmering with mist,
I sprinted toward the high jump, leapt, arching my back
to soar over the quivering bar kissed
by the disturbance of rushing air from my perfect, flying form.
A scuff-shinned girl who ran barefoot through the woods,
scampered up tree trunks to swing from limbs with twigs twisted in hair,
roller skated on cobbled streets and round and round rinks,
strapped on skis at five to race down snowy, slick slopes,
glided across the top of kelp green lakes behind speed boats,
jumping the wake, howling with glee and terror as the engine opened up
when we roared through the root beer froth of the St. Croix River, now
Foot tangled in cargo net mat, catching me as surely
as a fox in a cruel hunter’s trap; I was hobbled.
Knee cap and knee parting company in a most definitive way,
ligaments abandoning their stations. Vanquished.
Two days a teen, fated now to sure-foot my way through life
in shoes with solid soles, lean hard on walking sticks and proffed shoulders
while tiptoeing my way along the gentlest inclines.
Days of propelling my body with rapidity,
using its standard issue equipment, already past.
Oh, splendid, sable ink and paper by the reams,
a salvation for the soul of an athlete and adventurer
encased forever in a body more decorative than functional.
© Julie Ayers
April 2012 – NaPoWriMo 12