Monday, November 09, 2015

To the Italian runner who was lost after the NY Marathon... and found again

The way home
Diane McManus

He went on to explain how each totemic ancestor, while travelling through the country, was thought to have scattered a trail of words and musical notes along the line of his footprints, and how these Dreaming-tracks lay over the land as ‘ways of communication between the most far-flung tribes.
   ‘A song’, he said, ‘was both map and direction-finder. Providing you knew the song, you could always find your way across country.’
Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines

On subway —
disheveled, confused still
in running gear.

We leave the familiar behind
The language is strange.

Separated from the rest, shivering.
We train months
Teased as children.
We want them to be proud.

We learned their songs.

Fragile, map and key gone.
least athletic, alone
at the finish.

In the woods near water, we wait.
In the park, he could not find friends

who could not find him.
The Pino Grigio, a favorite.
We could not find our way home, so ran,

spending nights alone. Surely we could fly
tomorrow. Gatekeepers said no.

Mr. Merango was lost.

Lips dry and trembling
looking left, looking right, looking left, looking right.
Out of place. Still in race.

Found underground, recognized, he smiled.
The coffee hot, the donut sweet. Three dollars.

We learned slowly to be brave.