Loneliness of the Short-Distance Sprinter

by Allan Haslinds

thumpa thump
thumpa thump
thumpa thump
then another foot, then
another, then another.

From concrete steps,
bright eyes reach out
gliding over sinew and bone,
seeing sweat and effort
a thumpa-thumping invasion
of his familiar stretch of blacktop.

Leaping to round limb,
matching the measured pace
the voice pipes "why do you run?"
and bristles
at the laborous lack of answer.

Curious legs test themselves,
finding easy sweat and effort.
Slow and unsure then quickly fast
and abandoned. Pleasantly pumping
and amazed as they speed past
sinew and bone.

Thumpa thumpa thump

only to have the stillness broken
by thumpa thump of sinew and bone
pacing past the youth, left far from home,
and too tired to walk.


Author's Note: Very much looking for feedback on this draft poem. I suggest that you put your feedback in the LSDS thread in the clinic: http://www.pathetic.org/forumRead.php?c_category=Poetry%20Clinic&i_id=99107

Posted on 07/02/2003
Copyright © 2021 Allan Haslinds

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Stephanie Kent on 07/02/03 at 10:06 PM

This paints an incredible picture. I love your use of words in this...

Posted by Kate Demeree on 07/04/03 at 10:24 PM

I like it on the first reading, but think it diserves more before proper comment. I like the mulit levels of thought.

Posted by Mara Meade on 07/05/03 at 05:04 AM

I like the way you throw a little bit of funk (thumpthumpetc.etc.) into a somewhat serious piece. The last line is a killer, btw.. Reminds me a bit of Paul Simon's lyrics.

Posted by Alex Smyth on 07/08/03 at 04:50 AM

The curious impudence of the youth, the focused discipline of the runner make interesting subjects. The thumpa thump does intimate blood pumping in the readers ears.

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 07/20/03 at 06:36 PM

Excellent imagery! The scene clear. The shallow to deep breathing apparent. Finally exhaustion! Either the run is finished. Or the "Run finished". ;)

Posted by Jeanne Marie Hoffman on 07/21/03 at 06:05 AM

I like the thumps, give such a clear view!

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