Catherine Elaine


Runner - Poem by Catherine Elaine

Crazy, they call you.
You who piss yourself on the trail,
barrel out into the sleeting rain,
and push until you can no longer stand.
All of this in the name of
achieving the impossible—
of beating your
self.

You buy tee-shirts that
proudly proclaim:
‘Our sport is your sport’s punishment.’

You revel in its solitary nature
and in the insanity.
You who butter blistered toes
with vaseline.
You who expel your spit in front of
screaming parents
(the sole fans) .
You who choke back bile,
and hurl into the chute,
preparing only to do it again
and again.

Crazy.
Perhaps.
Perhaps a definite
'yes.'

But it is you who know
the steady beat
of your feet underneath.
It is you who see the streaks of grace
in the misty morning sky,
faint colors leading you like flags.
It is you who feel the sharp sensation of air
slicing through lungs.
It is you who realize:
This is for one thing
and one thing only—
the flight
itself.


Comments about Runner by Catherine Elaine

  • (7/12/2006 6:21:00 PM)


    Conjures crystal sensations, the steady pounding of heavy footsteps. And I love the juxtaposition of the harsh descriptions from the previous stanzas with the beautiful ones of the last. Reminds me of An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, 'A lonely impulse of delight drove to this tumult in the clouds'
    lauren
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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 20, 2006

Poem Edited: Thursday, May 25, 2006


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