That’s What Life is, Isn’t It?

Lone Man Running on Road


Sometimes, out of habit, I still call it running

when like clockwork I’m out there twice a week

in my shorts and sneakers and tee shirt

leisurely loping and lollygagging along the path

out in the sun on the route to the airport

where the pale pink and purple Muhlenbergia grow.

10K: it’s not bad at eighty-four even if I am slow,

so slow that I’m the only one who calls it running.

So slow that a forty-year-old neighbor quipped:

“It’s great how far you walked today. Keep it up.”

“I call it running, I said, “but you’re probably closer to the truth.”

I knew she was right, though not so long ago it was running,

at a middling pace even then but running all the same.

And sometimes, out of habit, I still call it running,

though fast-walking women soon leave me far behind,

as does almost everyone else, young and old.

Yesterday a fourteen-year-old girl gave me a thumbs up

and smiled benignly as she whizzed by, swiftly as time itself.

But I’m moving and that’s what counts, I tell myself.

Movement: That’s what life is, isn’t it?

David Blumenfeld (aka Dean Flowerfield) is professor emeritus of philosophy. He taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of Illinois, Chicago, Southwestern University, and Georgia State, where he was chair of philosophy and associate dean for the humanities. He now publishes nonfiction, humor and children’s literature. His 2021 publications are featured in Best New True Crime Stories: Well-Mannered Crooks, Rogues & Criminals, Mono.; Beyond Words; Balloons Lit. Journal; The Caterpillar; Sport Literate and (forthcoming 2022) Carmina Magazine.

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