It’s 6 AM at the Y.
Seniors, up since 5, have made their way to the pool,
the treadmills, the water aerobics and yoga classes.
By 7 there will be a rush on the locker rooms, the Harried
with one eye on the clock, will reset the controls
to steeper inclines and higher speeds.
At 8 those who have deposited kids elsewhere will
mosey in adjusting spandex, debating the handling
of temper tantrums or parental controls.
New here, I plow through a trainer minted
routine filled with scripted promise:
to be perfectly realigned, find my center,
stretch my core and stimulate my brain,
none of which, despite decades
of classes and trainers, have I ever achieved.
Catching a glimpse of myself in a mirrored wall,
I grimace, check the slow-moving clock,
take a mindful yoga breath,
celebrate the wealth of choices still ahead,
ask the woman next to me,
the one I recognize from 6 AM water aerobics,
if she would like to quit early and join me for a cup of coffee.
From The Lovely Mundane (Finishing Line Press).
Used here with the author’s permission.