NaPoWriMo Poem for April 15


the halfscore score

1: starting line

once upon an april
once upon cottonwood
once upon some racers

there was an event
of four subevents
marathon/half marathon/10k/2mile

and the people who came to race
were physically from willowbranch to peterbilt
and psychically from timid to attila

there was no starting gun for the 10k
just a convivial starting voice counting down
and when he got down to go we went

2: water waiters and chipper cheerers

volunteers in matching shirts and grins
dispensed water from the getgo
and walkers like me had time for a friendly passing word

hydration greases the wheels and cools the engine
but absorption by the body maxes at 8oz/15min
you don’t want your tummytank to be a sloshing

and so I was glad to see lots of stations
and sensible small cups and plenty of dropboxes for empties
races have made strides since my heyday

friends family and wellwishers lined the course at good places
three ladies seemed to be dispensing confetti
from a cottonwood tree & I thanked them

3: the theory of relative distance

there is about a mile and a half between start line and 2mi marker
about four miles between the 2mi and the 4mi marker
and about an eon of purgatory between there & the finish line

4: how it went from my end

i woke this morning with a twingey knee
thought rats this ain’t the movie i signed up for
dressed and readied nonetheless

got to the race via sweetheart transportation
got numbered got lootbagged got greeted by curtis
got hydrated got excited got started

was in a tight pack of walkers for a while
passing being passed keeping occasional pace
with a compadre or compadrette

the pack unclumped in a mile or so
i settled into a brisk but unfoolhardy fastwalk
not passing not being passed

little uphills and downhills took us to dead horse ranch park
and the unflats made me want to jog a little but i held back
until i couldn’t but i made the couldn’ts brief

there was a loop that some racers cheated past
didn’t matter; to each their own; when i looped
my fellow frontdesker and racer nancy saw me and helloed

there were live horses and riders at dead horse ranch
and i had to wonder what the horses would think
if they knew the name of where they were

more water more goodfeeling energy more limberstride loosening
jogged a little ran a very little
got airborne now and then for metaphor’s sake

another loop and a long climb through campground
a sign seemed to say norvs beyond this point
and i hoped the norv was not a vicious creature

of course it meant no recreational vehicles
and indeed the upper campground was festooned with tents
and smilers and squinters and dogs witnessed our phenomenon

on the way down i saw a fellow from cottonwood rec center
walking for him is a struggle few of us can imagine
but he has a lion’s heart and walks and walks and walks

a guy about my age and i kept passing each other
jogging and tiring with unmatching crests and troughs
he kept me from going crazy & breaking into a run

home stretch
my dear denise waves and smiles about an eighthmile from the finish
she takes a picture i will cherish

fast nice finishline with the racemeter reading 1:39 and change
handed a cup of water feeling giddy & good
in a warm broth of modest glory

Photo by Denise Huntington



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