A poem by Julia R. DeStefano

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

Running Season

The weird chill is upon me,

and I see you’re lacing up your running shoes -

not minding the snow blanketing our small earth

or the probability of slip and fall.

But there are whiteout conditions out there!

Surely, you’ll freeze to death.

Shivering outside love’s shelter.

And why the straitjacket?

We both know it can’t keep you warm -

no matter how tight you pull.

With no finish line in sight,

how will you ever know when it’s time

to turn back towards this woman who’s missing you?

Or will the bell-like peal of her laugh

fade into distant memory like the sound of the starting gun?

But you’re already off.

The cold penetrates me -

icy wind blowing in from the screen door

that I can’t get to shut

as I realize it’s me you’re running from.

I knew when the icicles resurfaced on my bones

that you were pulling at the laces.

Making them taut.

Readying for another journey where I am not welcome.

This chapter I tear from the book

that always reappears

just when I think it’s safe to say running season has ended.

Are those shoes new?

You’re faster than I’m used to,

or is it my exhaustion holding me in place?

Oh, barefooted, naked me -

it’s not my job to chase you

in this sprint faster than Cupid’s arrow

that dares an avalanche.

How it rocks the boat of our bond,

almost willing it to tip over

as the lines in my face deepen.

Watching you take off with my golden heart in-hand.

Held high like the Olympic torch.

And the imprint of yesterday’s kiss upon your frostbitten lips.

Estimated time of return — unknown.

© Julia R. DeStefano

The Red Queen in her crown. YA & adult poetry. Love & relationships. I preserve moments in the glistening amber of language. #WhirlingIntoFlame now available.