Poem: Race Walking Soliloquy
You might think I cut an odd figure
walking at the speed of a tram or wild turkey
across squares in the park or along the highway.
I’ve had my share of truckers honk,
housewives offer me rides in their station wagons
as squirrels scurry off bewildered.
I’ve walked across towns, cities,
whole island countries. I’ve kept my form
through blinding heat, pelting rain, and the rare
meteor shower. I’ve held myself back to deal
with the ground in front when it would have been
easy to run. I approach the future
as if it expects the soles of my feet.
There are no admonishments to walking
through museums, basilicas, or in the event of fire.
Walking is not the slower way to go from
Point A to Point B:
it’s the exact impression of
Point A to Point B.
It is the art of getting somewhere with as little
fanfare as possible to be the one who
achieves the singular view.
You only get the full spread of the feast
when you’re the first to the buffet.***
For Ann Peel (former World Champion Race Walker and my running partner).
Check out other sports poems by Priscila Uppal inspired by the London 2012 summer Olympic Games.