It was once fun to be thrown by Michelle Morouse

What to do with this memory that visits her at four a.m. of being “Ultra girl” in Aikido? (In truth she was only average, but she was the only girl, having chased away the other girl by borrowing her boyfriend.) She was never the most athletic, but athletic enough, just as she was never the prettiest girl in the room, but pretty enough to have had her share of attention, and now when she sees a young woman with top down to here and shorts up to there she thinks “I had my time, this is yours. Use your powers wisely. If you can’t, have fun.”

She loves the gardening club, but what to do with the memory of riding her best friend’s shoulders while changing classes just for the sheer freakiness of it, or squeezing between packed tables, six entrees held high with one hand, or those standing summersaults that are Aikido rolls, or bouncing off racquetball walls?

She loves the local nature trail, too, but what to do with memories of reckless solo swims across a lake, or shimmying up a doorjamb as a child, bracing with flexible feet and hands, or heart racing to two hundred in aerobics class, or her former classmate, now deceased saying “Nice and easy” as she lunged at tennis balls on once sturdy knees?

What to do with these dreams of needing to navigate a narrow passage? With each new ailment she thinks “this is the passage,” then “no, this is the passage.” She envies the newly hatched breaking free of gravity for the first time, but would she want to return to gangly, impulsive?

She would settle for just one more perfect Aikido roll, like flying.

Michelle Morouse’s work has appeared recently, or is forthcoming in, Gemini, Midwest Review, Prose Online, Best Microfiction 2022, Touchstone Literary Magazine, Fautline Journal of Arts and Letters, Litro, Unbroken, and Paterson Literary Review. I am a Detroit area pediatrician and I serve on the board of Detroit Working Writers. 

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Photo by RODNAE Productions on
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