The Race Goes To…

The kids ran by,
high school boys
training for the
cross-country
team. They ran
past the cottage,
up the paved street
of the steep dune,
around and down —
the dune separating
the more gifted
runners from the
others. He thought
about his high
school cross-country
experience — a
numbered
tongue depressor
handed over at
last for last
place. Forty-
thousand miles
in forty years
later and he
sits and reaches
and scratches
as far under the
shell as he
can reach.
He watches a
skinny kid
flopping by
with flat feet.
Hang in there
kid, he thinks.

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