I The Bump
The front of my shoe into the root-raised sidewalk, in the early morning dark, immediate forced lurch and lean, gravity at play, my body a sudden projectile.
II The Stutter
Left foot down hard, short and choppy, seeking a base, body and brain electric, woke, as they were not the barest moment ago.
III The Thrash
Alarm, surely going down, hard, fast and sprawling, on concrete, drive it, drive it!, right quad fully engaged, firing with everything it has, a millisecond’s wobble, oh no! push push, hang in, oh Lord, a severe rise in the sidewalk just ahead, damn these unkempt, insidious trees!
IV The Veer
Faster still, a running back at 20 degrees, struggling for yardage and a smidge of stability, momentum forcing my body suddenly right, leaving the sidewalk, toward the sideyard morass, if rocks or roots await there, my ankle is toast.
V The Stumble
Crashing the weeds, shrubs, indistinct greens, right foot seeking a tentative locus, a planting, body stumbling on, good-bye sidewalk, we’re in the jungle now.
VI The Search
Full on through the foliage, staggering, desperate still in this tree-darkened shroud, footing unknown.
VII The Righting
Another step, glimpse of solid dirt, a five-toe grasp, pushing free, body finding elevation, righting, momentum easing, brakes tapping at last.
VIII The Restoration
The way clear, level sidewalk to the left, a sheen of streetlight piercing through tree to earth, terra firma, solidity, final uprightness, relief.
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Deep appreciation to the photographers! Unless otherwise stated, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing.
Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banner at top of page.
Library books photo by Larry Rose, all rights reserved, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Falling photo by Mike, Beantown, https://www.flickr.com/photos/yoyo_hick/