Hummingbirds & Hips

Hummingbirds & hips by Nancy Schatz Alton

My left hip holds the unnameable; the nerves that pulse here

stop me from running

& yet these strong legs still hold me up

(like the tree trunk out front that refuses to die)

& bring me to windows to spy hummingbirds.


I have a feeling these legs have been here before:

gazelle to giraffe,

gorilla to grasshopper,

great grandmother to grace—

a flower blooming as nerve: my left hip.


These strong legs fed by nerve pulses.

Legs that ran me up & down the soccer field.

Legs that ran a double-loop, 1 mile around the school yard

through the heat of day, my breath making a rhythm I could count on

uncurled my misery into joy.


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