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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 24 page 04


Forms of Fitness

by Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb

Twins — teens, pretty girls
with identical ponytails
high on perfect heads,
prance into the Fitness room.
I try to ignore them, but
oh to be young again,
I think, finding myself
stereotypically grieving
for my lost youth, looks,
flexibility, whatever,
while dutifully watching
the clock on the treadmill.

Suddenly as distance run
becomes calories burned, I hear
a soothing female voice
from a nearby phone app,
the pink device set between
matching (of course) yoga mats:
it directs the slender sisters
through movements, counts,
repetitions — all so calm,
controlled, familiar until
a sudden shriek, then sharp
screaming shatters the air.

Sensing my spiked heart rate,
the machine stops. Getting off,
I turn to find the young ladies,
now motionless, watching
a tiny, gray spider crawl under
weights by the wall a yard away.
Offering the creature my hand,
I transport the little thing
outside as the two stare
in terror, then relief. I return
to restart the treadmill
and feeling particularly fit.