to start downhill seems good,
seems fine, the downtown’s glory days
revealed, the snake of runners
winding past Union Station, and picking up steam
like a fantastic, multi-colored dragon, each foot
a chug, each sip of water
like metallic disproval, muscles moaning
but functioning in rhythm.
the hills ahead are seen through sweat,
the humidity high in June,
the runners at water stations
dumping cool cups on heads,
then aiming cups for gutters while brass bands
and cellos make music to inspire.
such irony, that hospital hill,
that way station to lost generations,
those brick buildings bereft
of cheer, the microcosm
of surgery and pain seems apt.
counting each step, runners struggle to the top,
easing up a bit, but focusing too,
the distance immense and two
miles not yet done.