Running in Eden

An ode to a beautiful run – and a fall – as fall approaches.

By on September 29, 2021 | Comments

I like to run on woodland trails
and I like to dream – the first

often spawns the second and that
any foot-pilot will tell you

can be trouble. Just so the other day
in the pitch pine grove: there

the path’s sandy dirt widens
and blueberry bushes line the way

like small cheering throngs.
Loping easily for a change I am

scanning my fans for hints
of the blue coming crop that will

have me bent like a bear foraging
for hours. I never think

of each footfall as skimming
an inch above the earth I never think

of myself as airborne – until I am.
But now like some poorly piloted

plane I am coming to ground,
the landing gear of my hands

sadly wheelless and the angles
all wrong I am a headlong blur

as the earth rushes up. First
the left then the right digs in;

the rest of me follows; I bounce
once; dust rises; I lie here waiting

for my limbs to report. “Well,” I say
to the hushed bushes as news filters in,

“lucky again — lucky in flight, lucky
in landing” and I look back six feet

to the snaky root crossing the path,
and now I wonder about the ways home.

Flying there again seems a necessary dream.

Stott Root Poem-2

The offending root. Photo: Sandy Stott

Sandy Stott
Sandy Stott lives and runs in Brunswick, Maine, where he chairs the town’s Conservation Commission. He writes for a variety of publications and has a book, 'Critical Hours—Search and Rescue in the White Mountains', which published in April of 2018, is now in its second printing, and was selected by Outside Online as one of its best books for Spring of 2018. He may be reached at [email protected].