Today, walking my dog,
my legs and feet would not cooperate
and I felt that old fear creeping up
to smack me……..
so instead I salute and celebrate them.
Little mountain girl
with flashing brown legs and nimble feet
and more nimble brain
going down every road
my mother swore I could not pass up;
feet that carried me over broken down fences
by mountain streams and poplar groves
hanging by my legs to look upside down
to where I had come from;
climbing as high as I dared
then on to deeper woods
by houses long deserted
and then flying home to heart and love.
City girl, going down roads
my mother still said I could not resist,
into other people’s yards filled
with violets to pick
an old woman screaming at me
(I didn’t know you couldn’t do that in the city);
flying on my bike
strong legs pumping to my newly discovered joy
the public library
devouring the Mary Poppins books
(my teacher had read only a bit every day to us)
jumping to David Copperfield and finding
a key to one of my passions
caring and loving forgotten children;
coming off Iroquois Park hill
and loving the reckless feeling
of danger as I hurdled down sharp curves.
discovering soccer and softball
fishing which I loved most,
building dams now in the woods
where we had moved back to.
Finding a partner
and making strong lovely babies
who found their own legs
and I continued to follow those roads
where I had never been.
So many places, too many to say,
so many loves (sisters and parents and friends)
including John Ledford who loved
coming off that Iroquois Park hill
as much as I.
My feet carried me to Holland
to friends there
and other roads I had not seen
and new friends to love.
Now my feet have slowed
giving up gardening, travels
(oh, I miss those unknown roads)
now they slow even more with a threat of
being still forever in a chair.
But as I walk my dog and feel the fear
of that old prophecy of doctors long ago
I do not look with sorrow to my future
I celebrate my past
my glorious legs and feet
following my restless, adventurous brain.
The Holy Spirit has shown me
invisible, mystical, wonderful roads
knowing I would not turn them down.
I, always, saying “who knows what lies there?”