At the Gym
By Elizabeth Smith
Three women stretch
Together with the bands and gab
About some family drama at Christmas.
A couple dozen members flood in
For the morning spin class
And finish in an exodus.
An elderly man lunges back
And forth in the aisle with his trainer. He hopes
He will be prepared to garden in the spring.
There’s the young man drenched
In tattoos and sweat, always
With dumbbells and gazing in the mirrors.
And by the windows are rows
And rows of runners on treadmills,
Their minds on anything but
The moment—the line
Of televisions, the music
From the speakers, a magazine, a phone.
Perhaps the distractions help them run
Longer. Perhaps they are saving
Energy by multitasking.
Or perhaps they are letting the mind run as far
Away as possible, like the legs, while
Still remaining in place.