She ran the last bit as she always did,
turning at the edge of the wood, kicking
up clumps of moss, ready to jump.
She crouched. In a moment of release she leapt,
lightly lifting her bones, feeling the freedom of it.
The ditch seemed to welcome her –
the nettles in their bed of green,
lazy white flowers slumping to-and-fro.
She emerged on wobbly legs. Skin blistered, eyes wide.
She had to do it again from the other side,
gathering enough pace to pitch clear but letting herself drop.
Nothing else had touched her this way.
Afterwards, she dipped her arms into a cooling stream,
pain dissolving in a spray of late spring.