Briskly walking and never arriving,
I feel slightly silly,
my gaze bobbing under fluorescent light
as I try to read the pages of Jane Eyre
weighted down on the metal tray.
Behind it, flashing red tells me
if my heart is doing its work,
if I’ve lopped off the damage
from last night’s pie,
though I’m certain Emily and Charlotte,
even Anne, never thought of calories as
they trod their restless moors,
what on earth would they say about
exercising a body where
there is no soul to expand it,
no hems grazed by dirt and gorse,
nor hairs wrestled and and undone
by a zealous wind while curlews swoop
and shriek in assent.
From We Lit the Lamps Ourselves (Salmon Poetry).
Used here with the author’s permission.