Saturday, May 5, 2012


way down in southern illinois
is the trail
yeah, the one i used in college
a piece of cake
for a twenty-year old
but now i'm sixty-three

i start out with breakfast
bring a protein bar
a couple of bottles of energy juice
take the backroads
feel like i'm gonna' meet leatherface
or farmer vincent
then i'm there
and it warns me
of copperhead
and other dangers

the downhills are tough
quads scream and hammies beg
stop now, before it's too late!
but i continue
over slabs of rock
slippery slopes
holding on to branches
keeping on the main path when i can
feeling the humidity and heat
listening to my breathing
realizing this is only the downhill
and after an agonizing eternity
i reach the canyon
and it is beautiful
i linger a while
and realize that i'm strong
and that it's a great gift
then i head back

climbing up slopes
pulling my weight
and i have enough wind
and this makes me smile
my crows-feet smile
i am weather beaten
but not road beaten
climbing up sixy to eighty degree slopes
sometimes crawling so i don't fall backwards
and it is heaven right here on earth
because i trained for it
for seven years i trained for it
past emphysema
past cancer
past double bypass surgery

and the experts told me i'd never walk again
and here i am climbing
and running
and crawling
and i never felt more alive

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