While he was running, I stood here still

The Wait by RhyagelleFor Denny, who ran the marathon yesterday

Not every To Do list has value, even in completion.

Accomplishments fill time. They tire you to your bones, make you sleep better. But they are just done things, sometimes.

Stand in this group if you run in circles to wear yourself out, to alleviate the boredom.

Come over here by the machine, if you move your feet back in forth, in place, to relieve the pressure valve.

Sit here and rest your weary bones if you are worn out from staring at the flickering screen, tired of worshipping its edgelessness.

That room filled with stacks of books is packed full of time made worthy.

This room where I nurse my fears is full of time degraded.

It’s that mass of human flesh, I hate, pressing forward in the cliched crowd, like 26 miles were nothing. Like in one aerial photo the cattle will manuever their way across the Narrows bridge toward another of my failure boxes. Tick tick, the thousands go by.

How I rather see them, one by one, like their sweatdrops. Hands reaching for water. Shoes dragging on pavement. Through Queens and Brooklyn:the quiet halls of where Hassidic Jews glanced up and away. The shrieks of clamouring song raised in triumphant return– two or three voices for each runner — along the color-soaked park.

Where should I go now, to survive the empty day?

Lined paper, even filled with tasks, stagnates without this animated pressure.

Not in place. Not waiting. Not moving in mere circles.

Forward momentum should carry me. Even when the finish is spectral, brutal or far in the distance. 

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 


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