A Ten-Minute Mile


The sun crawls,
in its own gracious time,
 over the top of the neighbor’s roof,
the woman positions her chair
to catch the light ,
sighs as the warmth fills stiff bones
 with a dream of running
a ten-minute mile along the shore,
looking for a lost  brother sweating sunburn,
looking for a lover’s embrace sweating kisses ,
or chasing her children’s childhood,
hot on the trail of  a chipmunk
hiding  along a backwater stream.
She races  in search of  secrets,
 grabbing bits and pieces of knowledge
damp with the smell of old books,
yet devoid of the scent of wisdom,
  compassion biting at her heels
   devouring a marathon of caring,
 she chews and swallows too fast,
 uphill waves of broken bodies begging
 for a sip of her soul,
sweating profusely but never detoxifying,
purification just out of reach
of a ten-minute mile.
The dream fades to slow motion,
the sun’s warm embrace beckons and pulls
her up and away from her chair, 
 not to run a ten-minute mile,
but to walk a well-worn path
to a frozen lake nearby,
where she forgets the  fast-paced dream
 in the long slant of the sun,
snaking through the naked  trees,
and  for a long time she  just stares
at a single blue heron
walking  on water.


©WabiSabi 2013

For Poets United ‘Pantry’

D’Verse ‘Pub’

24 thoughts on “A Ten-Minute Mile

  1. This is an incredible poem. I picture the (older) woman sitting and dreaming of running. I would guess she probably did in earlier days. I like ‘she races in search of secrets,’ and I am sure in her life there have been many. I like that eventually she does rise out of her chair and walk a familiar path to the lake. As she looks at the heron, I picture her in the moment, in the now, and I would like to think she is contemplating beauty and is at peace.


  2. I used to run a ten-minute mile before my ankles started giving me problems. I really miss it, but you took me along with you and I felt present each step of the way.


  3. There’s enough in there for a dozen poems!
    Have to confess to a certain amount of envy of anyone being able to have so many imaged thoughts gushing out. Riches beyond the norm.


  4. I like the story, specially the ending. You pulled me along with her thoughts as she sits and walks towards the lake…my impression is that she is going towards her death calmly….Very well penned ~


  5. Excellent and thought provoking poem – i love the line – the sun’s warm embrace beckons and pulls. The suns rays change and enlighten us. Well done, i loved the feel of this


  6. I have to say, I completely identify with this woman. I felt like it was an ode to aging. I dream of running but have to be content with walks and 9, sometimes 18 holes of golf. However, the sun shines on us all. And the finale was perfect.


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