Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Run Every Race as if It’s Your Last

as you round the bend
keep the steel and mouse-skinned
rabbit front left center
and the track and the crowd
and its cries are a blurred ovation
as you stumble and recover
and then fully fall even if
only onto the rough gravel
of your inside mind or outside
in what is called the real world
as how many drunken grandfathers
holding little girls’ hands
and broken peanut shells go
swirling by why are you racing
what are you racing from
from what fixed arm does this
moth-eaten rabbit run
captive is different than stupid
near dead is different than dead
they call it a decoy but we know
a mirror when we see ourselves
lurch and dive for one

Credit


Copyright © 2015 Lisa Olstein. Originally published in the Winter 2015 issue of Prairie Schooner. Used with permission of Prairie Schooner

Author


Lisa Olstein

Lisa Olstein is the author of Little Stranger (Copper Canyon Press, 2013). She teaches at the University of Texas at Austin and lives in Austin.

Date Published: 2016-06-09

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/run-every-race-if-its-your-last