Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RUNNER, by GENEVIEVE TAGGARD

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RUNNER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: You are not for valleys. Or for any maiden
Last Line: Runner, runner, runner -- wind and runner meet!
Alternate Author Name(s): Wolf, Robert Leopold, Mrs.
Subject(s): Track Athletics; Running Races; Pole Vaulting; Discus Throwing; Shot Putting; Running Hurdles

You are not for valleys. Or for any maiden.
You are a runner. I have seen. I know.
You were never made to move, laden, heavy-laden;
I have seen you clear the wind. Some day you will go.

Swift wind is your wind. You were made to finger
Forms in the air, sightless, hard to hold;
No one ever held you, ever made you linger,
Ever even ran with you, young or old.

Run against the white wind, runner unladen,
Battle for your breath with hers, dry as a windy drouth.
She comes from a thirsty place. The mouth of any maiden
Will cool your blood. But not the wind's. Hers will parch your mouth.

Lean on the white wind, runner, young lover;
Plunge and go forward and down, mouth to mouth.
Hold her quiet, cover her, let your kisses cover
The body of the white wind cut from the air of the south.

She is like a sickle, cutting swathes with rasping,
Swishing as she comes -- and the trees lie down like wheat.
Go to meet your woman, plunging on and gasping,
Runner, Runner, Runner -- Wind and Runner meet!

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