John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

Poet's Corner: Joan Benoit

Joan Benoit
1984 U.S. Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist

During the third mile
not the eighteenth as expected
she surged ahead
leaving behind the press
of bodies, the breath
hot on her back
and set a pace
the experts claimed
she couldn’t possibly keep
to the end.

Sure, determined,
moving to an inner rhythm
measuring herself against herself
alone in a field of fifty
she gained the twenty-six miles
of concrete, asphalt, and humid weather
and burst into the roar of the crowd
to run the lap around the stadium
at the same pace
once to finish the race
and then again in victory

and she was still fresh
and not even out of breath
and standing.

Rina Ferrarelli

Tags: poet's corner

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