The Runner

There is an old sporting event

Called the “Runs”

The participant engaged in this sport

Suddenly and with no prior training

Becomes an elite athlete

Resembling a Jesse Owens

Or a Doberman Pincher

A classic sprinter who obeys

Nothing but the explosion

Of the starter pistol

Who quickly displays skills

That make an Olympic champion

Look like a jogger

This event can take place

In the participant’s home

But it is optically spectacular

In a Wal-Mart parking lot

Dodging cars and hurdles of shopping carts

Unlike the safety of the Olympics

There is no celebrating gold medal

Only the lonely victory

And the silent satisfaction

Of a paper reward

Praised by the cheering

Flush at the finish line.


Ted Goodell

April 11, 2019