Dizzy, feeling the world spin
beneath my feet.
Something so subtle, suddenly transparent,
transformed into braille,
bumps rising to the surface
to meet my fingertips and let me read.
I try to catch my breath and get my bearings,
but the air has changed.
Even my skin feels tight,
restricting the oxygen flow.
So I peel off my armor and let it drop
like discarded clothes,
that has outlived its purpose,
though the cotton has grown soft and familiar from wear.
Without its protection,
I stand bare and exposed,
register the shift in weight
recalibrate for the missing mass.
Aware I will have to negotiate anew
how to move my body through space.
Close my eyes and savor how smooth and lithe it propels itself,
the breeze now at my back and not cold and hostile against my face.
Occasionally my feet lift lightly from the ground
having been accustomed to the constant downward pressure.
Like when I finally got my braces off
and my tongue explored the newly slick surface of my teeth
But missed the dull pain I’d grown accustomed to.
And I realize I’ve been trying to run with sandbags tied to my ankles
Loaded down with shame and fear, the many accumulated burdens
I’d gathered over the years and carried slung like potatoes over my shoulder,
twisting the natural curve of my spine.
An awkward three legged race
tripping over tangled limbs
never realizing I could just untie the sash and be free!
So now I am peaking over the edge.
All my cells suddenly oriented to air.
Oxygen permeating, seeping into every open space.
Shoulder blades tingling.
feathers tickling, wings ready to sprout.
Nothing to hold me back.
It’s now, now, and now.
That’s all there’s ever been.
Every option in my mind,
Is already a potential reality.
I feel like a young colt at the first hint of chill in the fall.
Prancing, throwing my head and swishing my tail.
Testing out the new found strength in my legs.
Running the fence line until I find an opening
Kick my heels at the discovered freedom,
hiding in plain sight.
This is that inheritance I’ve been seeking to pass down to my children!
This exuberance, this joy of living
This awareness of self in tune with its surroundings,
Knowing its own strength intrinsically.
Rejecting the doubt that creeps,
HOPE is my name,
but I am just now starting to live up to it.
I buck the saddle.
Clamp down on the bit.
Refuse to be broken.
But you are welcome to come ride bareback with me!
Skin to skin
Heart beat to cheek
Sweat mixing salty,
and let the wind whisk it away like a kiss.
I’ll run all night under the moon
and wake up to an open sky.
When you slide off at day break
we will bow to each other, hand to heart
not knowing if we will ride again.
We never do.
But maybe, just maybe
There are many sunrises and sunsets ahead.
But the saddle?
It’s staying in the shed.