The jogger runs
his daily mile,
mind far away
and on his face,
a weary smile.

The woes of the world
mean little to him,
for his world,
his life, his days,
are growing dim.

The need to complete
this final race,
no glittering prize,
just a flash of glory,
enough to save face.

Hold his head up, proud
and desperately defy,
for a moment of freedom
in a dying man’s eye.

Must make it to the end
before the pain sets in,
creeping through his bones
like a leper from within.

If only he knew when,
his eyes now too dry
to shed another tear,
no longer able to deny.

Just one more mile
and the game will be up,
another soul to collect,
a lonely life to corrupt.

The deal, once so welcomed
as the answer to his dreams,
now a debt to be collected
and added to the screams.

The end comes into view
as the pain begins to mount.

The long, lingering path
for which he has to account.

A cold, clawing shadow
reaches up, from deep within.

“This you can’t out-run my friend,
this game you cannot win.”

Written by Darren Scanlon, July 2011.
Revised 2nd February 2016.
©2016 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.

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