And Scott says, “you know, down by the power station on South Lumpkin, just beyond where we turn off on Westlake” and I think “what the fuck” there’s no power station on South Lumpkin, but say nothing, because Scott is the only person I can get to run with me daily, and twenty-two hours later at mile one point two five I don’t hang a left on Westlake and instead continue down South Lumpkin to QA/QC his statement, and fuck me if he isn’t right, there is a power station just past where we turn on Westlake, though it’s hidden behind a lapstrake fence, stained the color of oak and hickory trunks, but this camouflage is undone by the topping of rolled concertina wire like frosting on a cupcake, as if a prison were a cupcake, which leads me to the point that all kinds of shit is going down around us, all of the time, and some of it blurs by because of inattention and speed, like that power station which I’ve been driving past for the last thirty-eight years and others are missed because they’re equivalent to that constellation with seven stars that you can only see out of the corner of your eye, even though you try all sorts of squints to bring it into crisp focus, but it’s always just out of reach, like happiness or fidelity.
Which brings me to the point of this discussion, besides apologizing to Scott, who in truth can be both wrong and bull-headed, and that is to paraphrase Gautama Buddha “pay the fuck attention,” don’t just let trees and birds float by randomly like abandoned plastic bags caught by the wind—I mean what kind of trees are those, because their identities are like Matryoshka dolls—tree, oak, post oak, sand post oak, and so on down to individual cells which maybe even have first and last names in the botanical phone book. And birds—we’re on the Eastern Flyway so during spring and fall migration there are hundreds of species and saying “oh, it’s just some warbler” really is a mortal rather than a venial sin, not that any priest is going to scourge you for saying it.
And so the next day I’m out there running at seven thirty in the morning, because it’s going to be in the high nineties, and I turn left on Westlake and then left on Milledge Terrace and I’m paying attention to the water oak and chalkbark maple on the right and spot a whitetail doe with two fawns, here in the middle of fucking town, eating daylilies out of a flower bed right up against a Thirties red brick house, and I crash into a parked ’09 Audi hatchback and cut both my thigh and calf—and now I’m on my way to the St. Mary’s emergency room for at least seven stitches.
Nah, just kidding, aside from that effing power station I really am quite mindful.
has been writing poetry for 30 years. His poems may be found, or are forthcoming, in 21 different reviews, most recently: Verse-Virtual, Poetry Life and Times, Black Poppy Review, Trouvaille Review, and Last Stanza Poetry Review. His writing credits include ten years as a columnist for American Angler Magazine. Hobbies include running, music, fishing, gardening, and cooking.
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