The Cool Down

Steam across the invisible finish line

Or maybe it’s visible — a sewer cap, a crack in the asphalt, a parked car

While birds wing overhead, dark against a blue so bright it seems to glitter.

Breath puffs, vapor, dissipating as quickly as the ache of effort

Replaced by wholeness, equilibrium, the satisfaction of exertion.

Rejuvenation — not a jolt, rather a freshly-evened keel.

Welcome, new day

With a heart, mind, and spirit at once softened and steeled

With wind-blown, salt-crusted love, with gratitude,

With grace received.

The end of the run is just the beginning.

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