background image
in plain air 191
By his old VW, powerful and -- hell, I see
He is one-legged. Now he vigorously
Swings by on his crutches in the failing light.
When I look next he has got off alone
-- Christ, to do what? Way down the beach, he's thrown
The crutches down and is hopping, his one thigh
In the boiling white, toward a wave three times as high
As he. Hesitates, though. The wave comes on
And he hops back. In the sad, bad light I start my run.
running in america
Saint Kenneth Cooper, with your stethoscope
Stopwatch and clipboard, how they run for you!
Eager and obedient in every thew
Having had courses now on How to Cope
With Death, on how to eat, to screw, to ope-
n doors, breathe, spit, work zippers ... they can do
The running but you make it all come true
In charts, with points, paying off Faith and Hope:
Dad in his old sweat suit, running head down
Doggedly in the dusk, the stern beauty with the frown,
The young couple goose-stepping shoulder-high,
Eyes straight ahead, to warm up -- none of them smiles.
I've heard at parties the questions ... "How many miles ...?"
And the really serious runner's shy reply.
At the New School for Social Research you can take not only "Coping with Death" but "The
Philosophy and Psychology of Death." "We were early in death studies," says the New School's
proud president, John R. Everett.