pages Counterpoise

by Kay Harkins

Published in Issue No. 15 ~ August, 1998

The winding road stretched far ahead of him. That was what he wanted. The road ahead, yielding to each stride as had the road behind. In the moment of concentration to breathe, to perspire, to strain, without truly straining, to live with the rhythm of the sound of his own footfalls was enough. He would do what was necessary to let running be the blood of his existence. Far behind him on the road was another world, another life. His mother, the violence, hunger, desolation. The cajoling passage away from them. A little begging, a little stealing, a little making believe for the missionaries, and he was here on the road. No more starving, no more begging, just a bit of lying and drama for the coaches and he could live this life at one with all those who had run before him. The sun was not so hot, the road as dry, but still he was running, running. The medals and ribbons meant little. Something to buy female eyes. The road, the track, the trail was all. While he ran all things converged. Things left behind, things ahead were one with the effort.

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Kay Harkins teaches writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, where she lives with her husband, two ex-racing greyhounds, and fifty rose bushes. She is a scholar of the Wesleyan Center for Twenty-first Century Studies for which she is currently producing the first issue of an on-line journal Susanna: A Literary and Scholarly Journal of Wesleyan Women's Thought.