Running Home

January 11, 2009
By Allison Jaffe, Solon, OH

Running Away From Home
The tattered spikes, lifeless and dull, dangled from the iron fence.
Lonesome, they slumbered day and night at their humble abode;
A place where hearts beat harder than their limits;
A place where hearts break under the ticking of the clock.
It is at this capricious destination that the spikes were abandoned,
Left to hang after battles and self-standoffs.
Their three defining stripes have faded.
And their once fierce shining tips
Have eroded into dull, rusted nothingness,
To the naked eye that is.
But infused within the mesh is a girl’s passion
A once tangible potential untouched.
The spikes had felt the grandeur of soaring across the finish line,
As well as the sorrow of slipping downhill, thwarting any aspiration to press on.
So intense was the depression pervading these precious gems that
The harrier could no longer stomach the sight of them.
Despair digging deep within her soul, the courier triple-knotted the spikes,
As only experienced runners know how,
To a place she would never see nor step foot upon ever again.
That instant, she became a vagabond;
A lost vagrant in search of the same warm-heartedness and desire her home once endowed upon her.
Long days and nights passed as she longed for all she had lost
In just four almost-barrier-breaking laps
That broke this devout runner’s spirit instead.
She could not help but perceive home in every Oreo cookie she devoured,
Each black asphalt road she drove on,
Every hoop-earring she wore.
Every stopwatch beep rang in her ears
Incessantly echoing failure.
But one night she gazed out her windowpane at the round, enchanting moon.
Her bare footsteps pursued a mystical radiance,
But it was not from the moon.
Upon reaching the light, her heart warmed despite the night’s chilly air.
And then it froze.
I was not alone.
Artfully striding around the lovely lanes of my home was a girl
Whose thick brunette ponytail bobbed up and down as her knees lifted up and forward
Until gravity thrust them back down.
But the girl’s feet, adorned in a shiny three-striped duo,
Never touched the ground.
That night
I flew.
Gravity couldn’t stop me now;
Why did I ever accept that it could?

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