I’m running for my life and I hear loud footsteps
thudding rapidly behind me.
They get louder so I think they’re
getting closer, and with what felt nothing left
I manage to pull out a little more speed.
My mind was racing, trying to think which direction to go in
when I saw the pole just ahead of me
as a place to hold onto and stay on my feet.
I reached out, stumbled forward and
recovered my balance, and held on for dear life,
slamming my eyes shut as if the act would protect me.
I’d momentarily forgotten the sound
of the footsteps thudding rapidly behind me
when suddenly they were all I could hear
through my own heavy breathing.
They had to be upon me now, but I wouldn’t
open my eyes to see them.
I was only standing
because of the pole I was holding;
I knew there was no way I could run any further.
Whimpering now, too tired to really cry
I slid down, hugging the pole until
I was seated on the ground like a puddle.
At last, I managed to open my eyes
to see the window of my bedroom and the
pole I was holding melted and swelled into what was
my other pillow, drenched with my perspiration.
The heavily thudding footsteps morphed into
my racing, panic-stricken heartbeat.
And I was overjoyed even through my exhaustion
to finally be awake.
©2009 Shari Lynne Smothers
Prompt: Write an emergency poem. Day 22 of the 2009 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, from Poetic Asides