Morning Run
Eddie Krzeminski

Morning Run

I remember the Cross Country boys
who made fun of me for my small joints and flared feet,
how I was the only senior on JV, and how I lied
about knee pain and didn’t run again for years.

These days my pain is no lie,
my knees really do sting, my neck is stiff,
my hands swell from overuse.
I’m running for my life now,
trying to stave off predispositions:
Alzheimer’s, cancer, addiction, a big and crooked nose,
all gifts from my parents and theirs.

I know I have not been good to this body.
I’ve burned my tongue on cigarettes
and nursed a thousand hangovers
with sunglasses and French fries.
I’ve worn the wrong shoes,
sat without neck support, even
smashed a few knuckles on surfaces
that wouldn’t give even an inch.

Life is full of these wild swings
in the dark at that which scares us most.
Tomorrow might not matter,
but today I saw the shadows
of buzzards circling a shape in the grass
and I ran faster.

Eddie Krzeminski

was born and raised in Naples, Florida. A recipient of a Sport Literate poetry prize, he has contributed to Saw Palm, Grist, Split Lip, Small Orange, and other magazines. He teaches and plays bass in southwest Florida.