Saturday, November 6, 2010

New York Marathon

This is New York Marathon weekend. Rather than random facts, one fact that amazes me: Edison Pena, a Chilean minor who was trapped underground for over a month will be running in the Marathon -- although most people in the race will have spent months running miles a day in preparation, Edison ran what he could in the confinement of the mine. He is amazing, as are all the other survivors of that ordeal that is to me unimaginably terrible [I'm claustrophic about underground places, I do admit]

Here is a poem I wrote about the marathon a couple of years ago.


They run
By the thousands
Through the canyons
Over the bridges,
Through the park.
News cameras look down from helicopters.
People look out tall windows
Lean over high balconies
Line the crowded streets.

They run
Like once the bison ran over the Badlands
The wildebeast still run through the savannahs
Fabled lemmings run over cliffs into the sea,
Heroes ran the mountains in ancient Attica.

As they run
Many thousand feet pound softly
Their breathing is a mass sigh in a city
Accustomed to sirens’ screams.
The crowds’ cheers drift softly to the sky.
Newscasters’ chatter circles the globe.

They have been running
Alone, or in packs of two or three or a few
For months, years. They leave
Behind home, wife, husband, children.
Silence is enough for many,
Some search for “the zone.”

They run
To win, or beat a record, or follow heroes,
To prove something, “because it’s there,”
“To do it once.”
To be, this one day, lost in the herd,
Part of something big and beautiful,
Massive and magnificent
Independent individuals
Who trained and paid and stayed the course.

1 comment:


June, What a moving and fine introspective poem. I thought it certainly had a dual rhythm of the wild free creatures and the wild free mind of the runners.
"Independent individuals -- who trained and paid and stayed the course" -- "because it was there" or for other reasons. These words certainly underscored the mindset of the Chilean miner who was trapped underground. So enjoyed this -- barbara