A Race to the Finish

September 4, 2011
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Get Ready.
Leg stretches to the end of the world,
Then snaps back like a rubber band.
Hands straining to hold,
The white line stopping them from freedom.
Set.
Butt high in the air,
Reaching for the clouds.
Feet straight,
Toes pointed down to the core of the earth.
The loud crack sends the sky a warning,
Washing away my nerves
And pushing me forward.
Left, right. Left, right.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
My throat closes,
Guarding its tunnel from trespassers.
Stay calm.
Left, right. Left, right.
Brea— Brea— Brea—
The oxygen fights the guards,
A fight for their lives.
One gets through to the tunnel.
Breathe.
My eyes focus,
The trail coming into view.
Only the rest of the world to go.
Left, right. Left, right.
Brea— Brea— Brea—
Panic.
My legs break apart from my body,
Wanting to escape the pain.
My eyes close in agony,
Too tired to stay awake.
Whoosh.
Wind whips past me at the speed of light.
Eyes open,
Searching for evidence of what just happened.
There she is,
Three feet in front of me,
Getting faster as I slow down.
Brea— Brea— Brea
A call to the legs bring them back,
Fearful of what might happen.
Left, right. Left, right.
Step.
My feet pass the white strip they call Finish Line.
Brea— Brea— Brea—
I collapse,
My heart dropping to my feet,
But my body stays upright,
My brain too exhausted to tell it what to do.
Brea— Brea— Brea—
Left, right. Left, right.
Slow paces give me courage.
Slow paces wash away the pain.
Left… right. Left… right.
Breathe.





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