A Core Course for Runners

Spring Lake
I’m running the lakeside path again,
	past the last shards of March

melting along the shore. This body
	built on bone strides silently,

as light as the breath on my lips.
	An hour in, quads and calves propel

themselves, knees keep leading me forward
	and time becomes a seamless stream.

Doesn’t matter that I will never be
	much of an athlete, that I will

never run fast or win a race.
	This body is a quiet current 

of muscle and pulsing blood.
	I am altogether alive in glistening skin.

Copyright 2003 by Brian Dean Powers
Published in 2005 by the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets
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The Body’s Heated Speech

Trek 1000 on Trainer

The rear wheel
	is garrulous, grinding
		against the stainless steel roller:

the bike’s inside for the winter,
	back tire suspended
		in a stationary trainer.

As the spinning
	spokes begin to blur,
		the taciturn rider

happily disappears
	into the rhythm
		of legs and breath and pulse.

His padded black shorts
	keep time with the steady
		pistoning of quads and calves,

his jersey darkens
	with the skin’s
		wet text, the body’s

heated speech so persuasive
	he returns again and again.
		It’s the thrill of being the engine

that drives the machine,
	it’s the will to last long
		like the grinding

steel-gray winter seems.
	Rising from the saddle
		to stand and hammer the pedals

full force, the rider dreams
	an approach to Sestrière’s 
		summit, dreams

a morning
	for the first crocus to crescent
		the Spring-soaked soil.

Copyright 2005 by Brian Dean Powers