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Putting It Off

by William A. Holt
When it happened I was peaked, ready for running
My best race of five, and I couldn't stop.
When it happened, I was on the last nine miles
Before my marathon, ready
For a thirty hour rest and a race
To beat my personal best, and he was driving
To the lake with friends to carouse,
As scornful of my ways as I was scared of his, driving fast
Into a low bridge and a dry creek bed, the car
Tearing against concrete, turning over, tossing him out
And landing on him.
When I learned he was gone I went on running.
Sixteen he was, almost ready
To be a man, serious, reserved, ready to run
With other men for the trophies
He never would see, and I,
Peaked, hard, tearless for a little longer, ran.
I beat my best time in my big race, my marathon,
Drank the free beer, drenching the chair with sweat,
And started to mourn my son



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