Various and Sundry Poetry

prayer for my legs

Carry me back to the Umbrian countryside,
its sunflower fields and coils of hay.
Return me to that restaurant spilling
to the cobblestone street, the wine
we drank slowly to make the money last.
Bring me to the dark courtyard where a family’s
weekend laundry hung and we shared
an impromptu kiss that reminded me
summer wasn’t yet over.
Walk me to the moonlit bridge, the ancient, ambient river,
the carnival, the cones of gelato faltering in the evening heat.
Deliver me to the farmhouse villa, the bread oven
breathing out drifts of red onion and basil and garlic.
Guide me poolside, then in, for leisurely laps
until four o’clock signals our siesta.
Wrap your inches around her torso, the teepee
of her ribs, her supine back.
Lead me to the beach where the water-foam
recedes to reveal a whole city of pale, pink shells.
Hurry me up the train platform just before the whistle blows.
Shuttle me down the aisle of a plane
that will cross the Alps.
Pull me through the apse of a thousand-year-old church,
the Uffizi’s snake of tourists, the fragrant chatter
of a late summer farmer’s market.
Stomp me through puddles of new rain, fresh snow,
a thick pile of maple leaves.
Stay with me through a hard-earned win on the court,
a bike ride along the California coastline,
a peace march, the zigzag down Lombard,
the Green Street stairs, afternoon rollerblading
under the Golden Gate, the climb up the trail in Fairfax
that ends at a waterfall.
Anchor me to gravel, to a surfboard,
to the 31 steps from my kitchen to the front door.
Bend me to the whims of yoga and snowshoeing and the Lindy Hop.
Follow me through six hours of a holiday party,
a babysitting job, an interview in heels,
the elliptical machine at the gym, the blocks
to the butcher’s, a morning of blackberry picking,
the rise of Chenery Street toward cinnamon rolls,
an impromptu jog around the stadium track.
Tiptoe me through the room where my nephew sleeps,
past a family of deer, through a field of the season’s last harvest.
Hold me through long lines at the movies and crowded
downtown trains and gondola rides
to the top of Heavenly.
Fasten me to water skis and costume boots.
Glide me on the ice rink come winter.
Slip me under the tongue
of basketball shoes.
Come. Follow me. Stay close.
I have so much still to tell
even though
I keep forgetting
to thank you.