Posts Tagged ‘Read Me – 71 Poems & One Story’

EQUAL LAST

 

And sometimes, without warning, it is lost.

 

Like old men trying to finish a marathon, we keep running.

Our spindly, shaking knees taking us all over the road.

We trail behind. Even the spectators are leaving.

 

True, around corners we find unexpected relief.

Small surprises of pleasure appear without warning.

Cracking lips suck, relieved.

 

But back at the start of the race we ran with the blood singing in our veins.

Each step juddered revelations through straining fibres.

Nothing broke our tempo, nothing could stop the running.

 

Now each slight incline is a panting reminder of past fitness.

Reality sticks in our lungs like an inhaled burr.

Others run ahead, still full of the singing blood.

 

Ashamed to catch each other’s eye, we trot to a halt.

Put our shaking hands on quivering hips.

Clasping them for a little passing stability.

 

The sweat of our failure drips incessantly on the pavement.

But the night has grown cold.

Somewhere, a mobile phone plays tunelessly.

 

As if by a signal, we turn our backs on one another.

Take a last, shuddering, sucking breath.

And silently creep away.

 

When the other is safely out of sight, we strip off our shoes,

barely concealing our relief at the new-won freedom.

Fling them over high walls, and walk, now.

 

Picking our way carefully, through a slalom of dustbins.

Miles and miles of dustbins waiting to be emptied.

Filled to the brim with other’s discarded shoes.

 

Anyone interested in checking out my volume  of poetry – READ ME – 71 Poems and 1 Story – can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/7y55a7v