Close Encounter at a Grocery Store
Grayed Vans, downcast eyes
Bear lumbering after cookies
How have you turned bald?!
Your quiet stare ceased.
How dare you remain yourself!
Return to apples.
Paths break: produce? snacks?
Thicker spine? Luckier stars?
Vans stumble away.
A. (The Treadmill)
The drama is firmly inside me this time.
I have no one else to blame.
I’m out of shape, I gasp for breath. I taste salt
and perhaps a hint of blood: a bitten lip?
I decided to run on the treadmill.
A last grasp (or gasp?) at self-discipline.
B. (The Home Practice)
As I enter the plank position
my body shakes like a top’s last exertions.
Is this aging?
The growing pains that will become middle age?
I remember the forcefulness
I jutted my hips into the air
just six months ago.
I feel the flab of my abs sink towards the floor
and a rotund ass attracts my attention in the mirror
across from me.
Pain and wonder
at the pandemic’s idea of wit.
C. (The Yoga Studio)
My inhale staggers drunkenly during dolphin pose.
If my breath could walk it would clomp like a child with too big boots.
my exhale explodes
of all the fire burning inside.
Blazing sun illuminates red maple leaves
embroidering the horizon
How could I possibly elaborate upon their reds’ brash eloquence?
Their tiny banners in the wind
An invasion of beauty
Challenging the heavens
Gingko leaves flicker and dance like tiny flames in the wind
What to make of this brief riot of yellow
pushing against time and the season
to infuse our Septembers with captured light
Neon lights and tree branch shadows dance together
and the streetlight splashes the oak with light
finding crevices to squeeze through and expose the sidewalk
like an old daguerreotype,
or a child’s paper snowflake.
Juliana‘s home base is in Washington, DC. Practically writing since birth, she has published twice in Maryland Bards (2020 and 2021), and now twice in Bourgeon. She is a community outreach worker and wordsmith in the nonprofit industry. Inspired by the work of Vallejo, Robert Pinsky, James Merrill and Delmore Schwartz. In her free time, you’ll find her curled up with contemporary poetry and a cat.
Image by Gary Hoover, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons