Trip by Ellen Rowland


A stupid fall, you will say.
Nothing daring or graceful, just a trip
on something insignificant and small while having
successfully avoided the lip of a flat stone
or a protruding root on this same
path for months now. You will scan
your body, noticing where the heat rises
to throb grated skin, swelling shin,
throbbing elbow. You will blow
dirt and grit from the palms of
the hands that braced you, the cool air
of your breath soothing the sting.

You will not hop back up as you once could
but sit or lay with your vulnerability,
this further proof of impermanence
and give thanks, deep gratitude
as you circle wrists, ankles, neck,
that most of you is still in good working order.

On the way home, you will conjure
the names of each bone and tendon spared
with no understanding of when or how
you acquired the knowledge.


Ellen Rowland is the author of two collections of haiku/senryu, Light, Come Gather Me and Blue Seasons, as well as the book Everything I Thought I Knew, essays on living, learning and parenting outside the status quo. Her writing has appeared in numerous literary journals and in several poetry anthologies, most recently The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy edited by James Crews. Her debut collection of full-length poems is forthcoming from Fernwood Press in spring, 2023. She lives off the grid with her family on an island in Greece.

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