Saturday, December 17, 2011

Run before Christmas, Bryn Mawr Polo Fields

Today: A solitary run around the Polo Fields, the scene of the Bryn Maw Running Club's summer speed workouts. Afterward, I trotted over to Milkboy's Cafe, a door or two down from the running store--and found the coffee shop overflowing with runners, as I'd hoped I would--it's the Saturday post-run gathering spot for the club. The mix of solitude out on the Polo Field and the conviviality of the club made for a perfect yin-yang balance, growing out of the silence of the run.

The photo above and the poem below tell the story of that run. Coming here to share it, I return to the coffee shop--in cyber form.


A Run before Christmas


I find it easy to negotiate, the path

from road to field, bare.

No underbrush tickles my now covered legs—the familiar climb

to where we gather, sharing stories until divided,

grouped by speed, and sent off on our evening’s mission, the sun still

high at six. the thick sky wrapping us in its hot moisture.

Now, emptied of soccer and baseball, the remnants tell me what was

there. Batting cages, a goal askew in a corner, net slightly tangled. Landmarks. Together

with the trail of crushed grass, they hold in their folds the footfalls, the voices, the smack

of a hit or kicked ball, now seeds

dropped in haste, dormant, their echoes still

fill the morning.

Six laps. Three miles. Unhurried progress. The body, though, remembers and resurrects

the quickened steps, pursuing the invisible

runner ahead., fearless. Five minute milers, their collective breaths closer,

about to lap me, they are elsewhere. I ignore

my watch, run by feel. Pregnant

with snow, the clouds backlit reveal them

the hawks, gliding quiet as kites overhead, their silence settling deep

in my soul.