Sunday, May 14, 2006

Pace

To the woman in her SUV
Who flew past me this morning
At approximately 9:45 a.m.
And was probably late for church
As I was running on Duke,
Speed limit 35,
Putting in my miles--

Who gestured angrily
As she swerved on the deserted road
To miss my rain-soaked body
An accusatory finger
Pointing at the concrete sidewalk
That lined the asphalt.

Her face twisted into an angry
Grimace
The silver grate on her behemoth
Echoed her emotion.

Helpless
I could not flag her down
At 45 m.p.h.
To plead my case of aching joints
That like deserted asphalt
Slightly more
Than cured concrete

Instead
I carried her angry face
And finger
With me for three miles
Before releasing them
In the wind

Feeling cleansed
By the rain,
I could only hope
She reached her destination
On time
And that one day
She would know
Running in a rainfall
Joints happy
Chest heaving
Watching the cars fly by
As she kept her own time
Her own pace
On the road.

2 comments:

Legion said...

I think this is one of the best you've written. I really liked this. You should send it to Runner's World.

And, welcome to the world of the endurance athlete. Angry fat drivers who are in a hurry to get to their graves.

At least with all the rain, you wouldn't have noticed if she'd spit at you.

:)

trAcy said...

my "readaround" comments say, it's a good emotion in this poem, a good solid idea, only i would have used commas at points and changed the ambigious "that like __ asphalt more than __ concrete" to "that can stand __ asphalt etc." or some other construction, because without the commas, you can get into reading the sentence wrong and expect a simile that's about to compare your legs to asphalt in some way.

those are only prelim comments and don't really dole out the love, but it's there. : )

i KNOW that drivers don't realize why people are running in "their" space.

bikes follow traffic and traffic rules (ideally, which we know happens not so much), and pedestrians are supposed to run opposite traffic, which i know you know.

you could keep some eggs or dog waste in your pocket (in a baggie!) to hurl at such drivers. i'm sure this one would have stopped to chat then.

or, we'll make you an iron-on for your "running safety vest" (you have one of those super-cool orange and reflective things, right?) that says on the back, "concrete is damaging to ligaments." or insert a more scientific fun object.

blather! i am not well. : )