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Free Verse Ode to Cross Country
The dust has worn my skin smoother than the finest silks,
the wind has whipped my hair into blind submission,
cottonmouth has dyed my lips
like a postcard of the Black Hills,
rough, reddish and rugged,
with cracks, canyons and caverns,
among stone, sagebrush and solitude.
The dust is in my lungs, my hair, my skin, my eyes, my teeth, and all my soul.
I think the dust has settled on my heart,
the same heart that beats so hard
I feel it in my throat all the while I run.
The rocks spit out from under my shoes,
my calves ache all the way uphill.
Water at the end,
water, blessed water,
raining down like a thunderstorm
in the Black Hills.
Soon the thunderheads will burst,
the heat lightning will finally strike,
all the tension in the air lets loose.
The race is over.