It was early morning, the hour before rush,
the quiet time when people are at home,
getting ready to do what they are going to do
with their day.
I saw her from a distance.
A runner, coming up the hill towards me. I saw
a figure wearing a white peaked cap
and something in salmon pink, close fitting,
three quarter leggings and long sleeves.
What I saw was grace.
She moved quickly but not fast, stepping up
the hill as though it wasn’t there. Her arms
hung loose, hands held out to the front,
shoulders relaxed and square, moving easily,
comfortable. Her legs swung from her hips
in a steady rhythm, regular and unhurried.
When she came closer, I could see she was
Her body moved in a straight line,
no rising or falling or rolling to the side.
Her hair was plaited and tucked under the hat,
and there was a sheen to her
fine, dark-chocolate skin,
though it was not sweat.
It was the glow of health, vitality,
pure, perfect humanity.
I could see, then.
This day was the best day of her life.
She would never be better, more alive,
I had an urge to tell her this, to stop her
as she passed and say to her,
“You look wonderful,” and
“You will never be better than you are right now.”
But I didn’t.
In these times, in these woke days,
strangers, old men,
people like me,
can’t say things like that
to people like her.
Even if the words are true.
She passed me by and I watched her disappear
and said nothing.