Hesitancy. Fear of cold, of shivering. A timid voice,
“I’m not dressed for this.”
Halt. Weight on heels. Roll forward, a firmer voice commanding,
“Walk on. Walk faster.”
Onward, quickly, trusting in motion to outpace cold. Breathe through the nose to build heat. Shoulders lean forward in speed; no. Open the heart. Lean back. Shoulders try to huddle for heat. Lean back. Breathe deep. Right hip leads the beat, and awareness shifts to my pelvis: is the right side forward? Balance. Lead from the left for a step.
Up the stairs to the library roof, two at a time in strength. Feeling muscles stretch and flex, smiling. Over the roof and down the other side, the long shallow steps to the wood. One and two-three, again and again, like dancing.
Resistance, wood chips and mud underfoot. Pushing harder, shoulders roll again. Slower, lean back. Better heart open than feet fast.
Through the woods and out, and on the far side white dashes inhabit the air.
Turn to home. Sun hangs low under swollen cloud.
A mallard races the storm.