Same Marks, Different Places

I once took pride in stories each bruise signified
Either from scrambling over rocks or logs
Or consistent pressure against the same spot
Where corners of two by fours rested ten times
Now there are no hangnails from rough gloves
Covering short fingernails still packed with dirt
Instead they click clean and loudly on the keyboard
The red marks on me aren’t from tool pinches
Or errant twigs or, forbid, tick bites
Just marks along my face and arms
From idly scratching from boredom, frustration
Those artifact aches of lifting, bending, carrying
Now my neck is sore from poor posture at my desk
My wrist hurts from bad ergonomics at my computer
Where half the day is spent lifting, bending fingers

Now I must earn my aches before class, before work
Sneak in time to row or simply stretch or run
I pretend it’s along Route 8A, Hallockville Rd
Because this road is full of plastic trash
Television sets and useless lotto tickets
Crushed bottles glimmer like mica in rocks
Where else the roads are dirty with dirt
With the occasional fast food bag
Exploded twenty miles from its origin
And one or two mini liquor bottles
From a shop with booze and expired candy
The only commercial business for miles
Unlike the gas station, the deli
At least three apartment complexes
And numerous neighborhoods

It’s surprisingly just as quiet
The roads are equally bare of runners
Though there are a lot more dogs
Not just a few food prints in the gravel
But the truck fumes coat your throat
And mix with garbage stink and marijuana
A smell of our consumption that’s sickening
Compared to the fresh scent of pine and air
The musk of moose and fox and beaver
And what are car horns and engines
Against the drumming of a woodpecker
Creak of trees, falling of water over rocks
All softened by the thick woods
Whereas these woods merely block
Half-abandoned buildings of a business park

Creative Commons License
This work by Sarah Holmes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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