Featured Poem II • September 2013

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Two Ways of Lifting

 

Virginia M. Mohlere

 

for Amal El-Mohtar

 

The bar feels at home in her hands, after years of sweat, lactic acid, the stupid constant search for “enough protein” (when all she wants is an apple). The dead lift brought her shoulders to life, sculpted a marble-worthy back. The lift deadened her (she hopes, but knows better) to covert dudely stares skeptical (read: upset) to be out- lifted by “a girl.” The gym of her perfect heaven might have as many as two other women in it. On a December morning, she does not think of metal when she hears about the doe. But when her eye hits binocular, her hands itch. The urge for weight deadens her worry, lifts her outside to the animal terrified on ice. Her back is certain, legs eager. Her hands will not be guided by her surprise-sparking brain. She grasps; braces. The live lift is not so graceful, but her arms are full of deer, carried past danger. She makes a tick on her workout log in a whole new category.

 

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VVirginia M. Mohlere was born on one solstice, and her sister was born on the other. Her chronic writing disorder stems from early childhood. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Cabinet des Fées, Scheherazade’s Bequest, Mythic Delirium, Goblin Fruit, and Everyday Weirdness, among others. She can usually be found with ink stains on her fingers and tea stains on her shirt.

She says, “I wrote ‘Two Ways of Lifting’ for my friend Amal El-Mohtar, who is a passionate worker of out. When she described lifting a deer trapped on ice, I immediately thought of the livelift/deadlift pun and was off.”

 

Amal (second from left) lifting the deer, accompanied by her brother Jihad, curious canines Mika and Odin, and father Oussama. Photo by her mother, Leila Ghobril.

Amal (second from left) lifting the deer, accompanied by her brother Jihad, curious canines Mika and Odin, and father Oussama. Photo by her mother, Leila Ghobril.

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