dec 31/RUN

3 miles
trestle turn around
20 degrees/ feels like 10
100% loose snow

It snowed all day yesterday and even though they plowed it once, there was still a lot of loose powder on the path. Not fun to run in this stuff. Still, I enjoyed it. Watched my shadow as she helpfully showed me how my running form looked. Again, I forgot to look at the river. I did see some other walkers and runners and a kid and adult sledding down a hill on the other side. Also encountered a plow which wasn’t actually plowing but just speeding down the path. Heard my feet crunching sharply on the path as the spikes from my yaktrax met the crusty snow on the edge.

Stranger by Night/ David Hirsch

After I lost
my peripheral vision
I started getting sideswiped
by pedestrians cutting
in front of me
almost randomly
like memories
I couldn’t see coming
as I left the building
at twilight
or stepped gingerly
off the curb
or even just crossed
the wet pavement
to the stairs descending
into the subway station
and I apologized
to every one
of those strangers
jostling me
in a world that had grown
stranger by night

I feel lucky to have stumbled upon this poem by a poet I like very much on a subject that is very important to me. I have the opposite problem with my vision–my central vision is going while my peripheral will always be there. I see people but their edges are fuzzy (and so are their faces). It’s hard sometimes to see where they end and I begin. This becomes especially overwhelming in crowded places, like the Mall of America which I hate going to but often do to please my daughter. I like the gorge because there are more trees and rocks than people and when I can’t see them or bump into them, I don’t have to apologize.

Rereading this poem a few times, I love how it is all one sentence. I also love how he describes his experience with vision. I’d like to try writing a poem like this one about my own vision problems. He seems to have found an effective way to communicate the strange scariness of it without being too heavy-handed with emotion, which seems hard to do. Sometimes I feel angry or overwhelmed by my inability to see and others’ inability to make more room for people like me.