I know the air is thin and yet I run
up City Creek, a paltry, trickling thread
that’s carved a canyon through the dusty dun
of dirt and rock and grass that’s sun-baked dead.
Surprised my breath suffices for the climb,
for all the years I’ve lived so far below,
I let my breath proceed in its own time,
My feet and legs as fast as they will go.
And in the sterile air I find the life
that justifies itself in slender hope.
I find an easy path through barren strife,
and feel myself go smoothly up the slope.
And as I turn to mark my summit’s end,
I feel my spirit rise as I descend.
This sonnet is available in my book, “26.2 Sonnets for Runners.”