Typewriter Rodeo: Marathon

Each week, the Standard reaches out to Austin’s Typewriter Rodeo for a custom poem on Texas topics.

By Shanna GerlachFebruary 23, 2024 2:16 pm, , ,

Some find peace in the movement — or maybe purpose in the challenge. Others, find purpose and peace on the sidelines — providing support. This Typewriter Rodeo poem is for both amazing crowds.


it’s not quite dawn
and the grackles are screaming
as bodies stream
towards then away from the start line,
picking up speed, picking up feet that
add up to miles, nervous energy
propelling us past
cheering sidelines freezing out here,
for us, for a glimpse of impossible.
what they don’t know is we are more alike than they realize,
we are all here to will a miracle
into existence, going into battle
with numbered bibs or colorful posters,
all taxing our lungs
to perform, some screaming out loud,
some screaming inside,
all pumping oxygen through
these same beating hearts, finding
something, or someone, or both
to care about so hard, well past
when it stops making sense to either
of us, a silent agreement between all
of us that it’s worth it
to bear witness to the edge of
the conceivable just as the glowing red
clock watches from overhead,
our god for the next however-long-it
takes until we throw our bodies
underneath to stop its
relentless ticking we each set in
motion by daring to cross
a starting line.

the clock will stop, but we,
all of us,
will go on living.

A photo of the typewritten poem on a torn half-sheet of yellowish paper. Behind the poem is a wall of running medals and paper running bibs

typewriter rodeo logoTypewriter Rodeo airs each Friday on Texas Standard. Send us your ideas for a poem on FacebookTwitter, or send us an email.

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