Running Short

Just because you cross the finish line first doesn’t always mean you’ve won the race.

I’ve never run a marathon, but if I choose to do so,
I won’t set any records, since my plodding would be too slow.
A race that long, with twists and turns, I’d surely find confusing;
no chance that I’d win, place or show – just merely end up losing.

Two runners in a recent race, who both had much experience,
diverted off the proper course. Perhaps they’d gotten weary, since
a marathon goes on for many miles, with pace unflagging.
It seems these fellows zigged when they should really have been zagging.

They both were well ahead; had run a little more than halfway –
but then a biking volunteer steered them down the wrong pathway.
The runner in the third-place slot stayed on the straight and narrow,
which meant he was awarded the blue ribbon, plus dinero.

The runners who veered off the course were very clearly shaken;
regrettable the road they took they both should not have taken.
If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s just as Robert Frost said:
whichever road you choose, the choice will leave you quite exhausted.

“Running Short” — read by the author.

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