Friday, April 14, 2017

Poetry Friday - She Runs

Back in October of 2013, the Poetry Sisters wrote pantoums. The only requirement was the form and that we use the line “I’ve got better things to do than survive,” from Ani DiFranco’s song Swandive.

Here's the introduction I wrote to the poem.
I wish I could explain in some eloquent manner how this poem came to be. It actually began to form while I was walking to work and watching the many people jogging past me. I started thinking about how much I despise running and how sometimes in life it's a struggle to finish the course I've set for myself. With the song lyric in mind, a desire to make the poem rhyme and move a bit like a runner, this is what I came up with. I did take some liberties with the lyric, but you can still see a bit of it in here.
I've been thinking about that poem a lot lately, particularly because I became a runner this year. On December 31st I signed up to run a 10K and joined a training team. On January 21st I made my first run (1 mile) and thought I'd never make it. Over time I slowly added miles to my training, and on April 1st I ran.
It was an effort on many days to get out and run, but I did it. And today, I'm still running. In fact, I've signed up to run a half-marathon in November. This isn't about a love for running (I'm not there yet), but about pushing myself mentally and physically.

As I embrace the runner in me, this seems like a good time to share this poem again.

She Runs

This day I am alive
up and racing with the sun
I’ll do better than survive
though I’ve only just begun

Up and racing with the sun
breathing morning’s sweet bouquet
I’ve only just begun
to watch the pavement slip away

Breathing morning’s sweet bouquet
clock the miles beneath my feet
watching pavement slip away
down a sleepy, city street

Clock the miles beneath my feet
breathing hard and fading fast
down a sleepy, city street
more mile markers passed

Breathing hard and fading fast
I’ll do better than survive
last mile marker passed
this day I am alive!

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2013. All rights reserved.

In addition to this post, you may want to take a few minutes to read my National Poetry Month post(s). This year I am sharing poetry that celebrates my late sister-in-law and what it means to be human. These daily posts focus on traits that Pam exuded—empathy, kindness, caring, friendship, gentleness and love. Here are the posts I've shared to this week.
4-9: To a Cat
4-11: Couture

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Doraine Bennett at Dori Reads. Happy poetry Friday friends!


  1. I read this sitting here in my running clothes trying to convince myself to go to they gym (running on a treadmill forces me to be aware of my speed and encourages me to push myself more). I don't like running. But I do sprint triathlons so running is a piece. Anyway, I guess I'm saying I'm grateful to have come across this poem and this post in this moment.

    1. I'm glad this was the right poem at the right time for you. I hope you are enjoying a bit of a break this week before the sprint to the end of the year.

  2. I appreciate "She Runs" as I stretch out on the
    sofa with a heavy fiberglass splint (temporary)
    encasing my right foot & upper leg. I'm doing a virtual run with you (although I am a walker, not a runner).

    Thanks also for sharing your posts limning the lovely traits of your sister-in-law, who I can tell was so special. I look forward to the links.

    And finally, how funny life is, that we can come to participate in something once repulsive to our core . . . . We don't know, what we don't know...

  3. I love this poem, Tricia, and you, my dear, are an inspiration! Thank you. I seriously needed this post today.

  4. I'm so proud of you. I love that you took a thing that you hated, made music out of it and sang your song.

  5. I need to write a companion poem. Yours is the joy of becoming a runner, and savoring all the feelings. Mine would be the experienced swimmer, dry-docked for six weeks because of a broken sternum and ribs and who longs for the rhythms and physical challenges of a distance swim!

  6. I love pantoums and this one does capture the rhythm of the run. Very nice. I really don't like running. I've tried to like it, but to no avail. However, I recently discover just how much I enjoy skipping. I do get some sideways looks, but I'm getting the cardio and it's so joyful!

  7. What a lovely tribute to running. I hope you learn to love it as much as your poem celebrates it. I've run and enjoyed it at times in the past, but not lately. Maybe I'll dig those running shoes out of the closet and give it a try again. Your poem reminds me of what I did enjoy about it.