I line up at the back, no speed record for me
Alongside Scooby Doo and a Teletubby.
Inside my vest, my heart is pounding
Anticipating the race, cheers resounding.
In my ears, the starting gun sounding
Us off – syncopated surge carries us forward
As one, in a collective lunge
And a stop – into a brick wall of humanity.
I shuffle through the starting line,
Released, the path clears, temptation
To go with adrenaline, in full flow.
Slow, slow – take it steady
I tell myself. Concentrate on the pounding
Beat of my feet on the shiny, wet street
Going on and on. The city fades in the distance.
We separate from the multitude
At the split off point – force myself off on the long way round.
Alone, on a trek past sleepy village, after village
Sileby, Barkby, Queniborough, Thrussington.
Rounding the corner, going back home,
Keep the rhythm steady, feet still pounding,
I can do this – visualise the finish,
Put the pain out of my head.
But my muscles scream out, the endless pounding
Has taken its toll. I stumble and slow to a walk,
Trudge past now-familiar landmarks
That never seemed so far from home.
A second wind then takes me, past bewildered shoppers
Wondering why anyone would put themselves through this.
Finally – New Walk, and a last incline,
Final, aching push uphill.
To a corridor of claps and cheers
Vicky Park and welcoming beers
In my local. But first, a massage
Yet more pounding. My spine felt fine,
Till your hands started pounding
Playing xylophone on my vertebrae,
My legs cry out in agony.
But I am proud, shiny medal hangs
Round my neck.
I hope you enjoy reading my poems, and, as always, all proceeds will go to help build the fightback against corporate political parties, to build a voice for the millions, not the millionaires.
To find out more about my politics, visit the website of the Committee For A Workers’ International, which is engaged in struggle in around 50 countries worldwide.