Pandemic Poem #19

Camp Chase 3.0

Tiny mailbox stars and stripes tip in the breeze

While internal criticisms blast my brain

Too few parking spots, too many bikers

All see you ugly

Throwing caution to the flag-filled wind,

Three miles starts across the Big Darby

Topping the curved rise, two earbuds become one

So huffing can be controlled before

Puffing becomes embarrasing

A turtle’s pace passed by swiftly cycling partners

Two by two, as far as the eye can see

(Or at least until the one point five point)

Swirl past, a different kind of

Memorial Day zoom parade.

A slow and ungainly gazelle plods

The single sore thumb in a tee and capris

Swallowed by prides of lions in spandex and helmets

Volume up, so their shouted shared judgements

About speed or looks or mere presence

Wound only the wind this time.

One point two miles in,

“On your left” signals

a single in a European jersey

who slows his ten-speed to smile

“That’s a nice pace. Keep it up!”

The first kind comment shared

In hundreds of trail miles together

“Thank you, I’ll try,” I smile back

As he pedals the grade.

Fitbit says 17.00″.

He’s right.

Not my best

But better than nothing.

Rounding halfway and back toward home

Sweat and sun say summer has arrived

Note to self: eight a.m. is too late

to avoid migraines. No later than seven after today.

Zero point five to go. Body says you can do four miles.

Migraine says three and a dark room.

Migraine wins.