“For today’s prompt, write an exercise poem. The poem could be about a specific exercise, or it could just incorporate exercising into the poem. Or it could be dedicated to a piece of exercise equipment–so an ode to an elliptical machine or those hand grippers or something. Of course, not every exercise is physical; there are military exercises, mental exercises, and so on.”
The Petty Wild
Can you hear the labored breath?
The chipmunk’s lungs, tiny pockets
filling and refilling with air…
There on the toppled birch, he pants
after zigging through the yard,
weaving through the lily bed
and under the golden forsythia
that reaches above the rail fence
to read the wind as a blind man
slides his finger tips across a sheet of braille.
Then the tired creature looped
around the bird bath’s stem,
bounded above a regiment of stone
that barred an advance of tulips
and the burning blooms of marigolds.
After which, he followed the garden hose’s twirl,
circling under the oak’s stout limbs,
its crooked fingers, finally to rest
there on the fallen birch,
white bark as white as bone,
all to impress the chimney swift,
that, with bladed wings,
soars above the rooftops
as quick as arrows,
mocking the chipmunk’s jealous feet.