wordsout by godfrey rust
BREAKING THE CHAINS  < 53 of 61 >



Runner

We don't have a climate, only weather,
and plenty of it. Tessa

hates it, it keeps her inside. I put on
my rain-suit with the hood drawn tight and splash

seven or eight miles along the river,
my Nikes soaked through and half the Thames Basin

to wash off in the bathtub when I get back home.
You need to run on days like these

when the wind gusts force nine up the river
throwing the past at you in bucketsful

and even memory loses its nerve.
You need to outrun the ghosts

that crowd the river path under the trees
and brush like nettles as you race past,

these faces, hostages of the storm, lovers
and those who were never lovers

and someone once, a girl, a woman really,
I don't say I knew her well—those dreams

that are lies, just lies
that are better left in the rain on the darkening path

as I stand panting for breath outside my own front door.
I love my wife. My study is a tidy room

full of questions stacked on bricks and planks—
Knowing God, Sex in the Real World,

How to Manage Pressure, Running to Win—
which will stay unanswered for another six months

at which time the whole lot comes down
to make way for a cot and a baby,

and I will sit then
in the room at the back of the house

hearing this weather above my typewriter's clatter,
hearing the rainfall at the end of summer, drumming

on garden leaves in the cool of the evening
the endless whisper, Love me more than these.


Godfrey Rust 1985, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for permissions.