Thursday, January 23, 2014

The runner


I.

Monday morning, he rises before dawn.
In faint light, he puts on his shoes & jogging outfit.  
No cellphone, no wallet, nothing to weigh
him down as he dashes out of the door into darkness.   

The early morning run is his temple.
Rain, sun, autumn or snow, it didn't matter.  
Nirvana calls.   
The wind tussles his hair to solitude. 
There's only the hiss & crunch of
his shoes hitting dirt as he picks up momentum.    

This time is his alone.
Not husband.  Not father to two girls.
Not teacher to school.  Not a sibling nor son.
Just a soul, soaring free like black birds
vanishing above trees.

II.

She wakes up to find he has not yet returned
from his morning run.   Her eyebrows furrow for a moment.
It's not like him to be late for school.  Or for any appointment.  

Same dependable man.   Same dependable teacher.
Unvarnished like silvery hair & glasses.  
Like a school clock, he is predictable for the last 20 years. 

Facing the mirror, she notices her wrinkles & grooves.
She smooths them away, like dust.  As if her hand is
a magic wand.    As if time healed
whatever was broken, lost or simply missed.  

For a split second, she sees a young girl 
hovering as blue 
butterfly
before an older woman reappears.  

She wonders what her husband saw 
this particular morning
in the silver 
reflection.


Notes:   This is based on true story of the missing 52 year old Ontario teacher who disappeared on Jan. 12, 2014 after his morning run. Until now the police don't have a clue to his disappearance as he left his wallet & clothes.   It has been suggested that "he wanted to walked away".

Posted for Poets United - Mirrors
and D'verse Poets Pub - Thanks for the visit ~ *Your critique is appreciated*

Picture credit:   here


70 comments:

  1. I'm sure we are all praying for a happy ending! Well written, gives me tears and goose-bumps!

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    1. Hopefully it has a happy ending ~ Thanks Janet ~

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  2. I have been following this story which makes your poem even more interesting...it is full of emotion... I just hope that it ends on a positive note....

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    1. Sometimes the person we know so well is the most mysterious of all ~ Yes, praying for a positive ending too ~

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  3. oy i had not heard the story and i was afraid something was going to happen to him in the story....and it has...the poem though is dfe about being human too...esp in his desire of time to himself and not having to fit a role...and her looking for the girl in the mirror....cool touches grace.

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    1. Its our local Canadian story Brian ~ the police doesn't have a clue of his whereabouts - just nothing ~

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  4. Oh! Let me give the response I had before reading your note: Two halves of a whole, each whole, each experiencing youth in the now. So freeing. But then comes the story--new to me--and then the crows (a murder of) and her wondering becomes foreshadowing and motivation for absence. Brilliant.

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    1. Yes, based on true developing story ~ Thanks for the fine challenge Susan ~

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  5. Oh, what a tragedy for the woman to not know what happened to her husband. How someone can just disappear like that and have there be no clues even a year later is phenomenal. If he did want to 'walk away,' he must have had an accomplice. I wonder if the answer will ever be found.

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    1. It's a mystery so far Mary ~ Thanks for the visit ~

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    2. Also, I made a mistake on the year - it just happened two weeks ago - 2014.

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  6. She wonders what her husband saw - This is really very powerful, that feeling that could i have done anything different. How you sit and wait and never know. Excellent.

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    1. Yes, I can understand on the waiting and waiting for something or any news ~ Thanks Allan ~

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  7. We had a case like that years ago (in the San Francisco North Bay). They realized later the woman was eaten by a mountain lion - though there weren't supposed to be any.
    You portrayed two images well in this poem.

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    1. Strange ending ~ We are all hoping though that he is fine ~ But it has been a cold chilly winter, so who knows ~

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  8. I've thought of what running would mean. I suspect many do ~

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    1. Yes ~ though this disappearance is so unlike him ~ But who knows~

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  9. Grace,

    An amazing poem especially when realising that it is written with a worrying reality at its core...Hopefully he might be found..

    Eileen

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  10. It made such a pleasant read from the man's perspective as he went out to be free from the complexities of a modern life... and then the woman's perspective started turning things around. The smoothing down of her wrinkles like dust and wondering what his husband had seen in her that day to the eventual suspense that he had not returned... great story telling and since you are inspired from a real life event, it adds into the depth of the words. Well-penned.
    -HA

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  11. sad dear I hope he might be found!

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  12. To read the contrast here... and the growing concern of the wife... and then the reference to the article... it all creates a real mystery.. I love it.

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  13. Read about this a few days ago. I guess you never really know what is going through ones head. it isn't overly hard to vanish if one wants to.

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  14. what a story... i surely can understand the need to just be... i used to run for quite a while in the morning as well...always returned though...so far...smiles... intriguing write grace

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  15. Truth, hard data, sculpted into poetry; what a joy to read; even though it leaves us with a mystery, perhaps a tragedy. I am always wondering what preparations the one who disappears has made; how do you start over? Or the darker side of probability can flip its sneer into the mix; great storytelling though.

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  16. Wow, Grace, this is so well written. I love the two sides to the story, and how the mirror reflects ourselves as it does the wife. I also like the way you incorporated her musings, which is something I find myself doing sometimes in front of the mirror, faced with all the lines and gray hair.

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  17. Nice speculation on what could be underlying this story.Very subtle and empathetic. I'm a (lapsed) runner and could feel the pull of freedom, of 'escaping' .

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  18. Very good Grace. I like the fact that there are actually two poems working apart from each other almost. >KB

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  19. Interesting that you tell it from two points of view. This means that supposition becomes questionable and makes it even more mysterious.
    [Hanna; in-de-tuin]

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  20. This is a fascinating story, Grace, and you have told it in a most effective manner. The two perspectives work really well and both endings are perfect, the man's yearning to be free on the one hand and the woman's question on the other hand.

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  21. Wow, I loved how you based this off an actual story. The two perspectives thing works really well.

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  22. I can definitely relate to being weighed down my wallet and cell phone. The younger girl's appearance, I found very well done. The closing image of looking in a mirror and wondering what another person saw when then looked, is very powerful.

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    1. Thank you ~ The mirror is powerful imagery to use in the story ~

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  23. The poem is crafted beautifully. You a have created a mood filled with many emotional aspects and intrigue.I know a few men who would relate to this one.Not everyone is suited to the societally imposed family life norm and there are consequences professionally if you don't conform even in this day and age. I hope he has not come to a sinister end.

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    1. I hope so, but perhaps this is the result of bearing up to that restrictions or impositions for so long ~ Thanks ~

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  24. Cannot understand how someone might "walk away," the thought of freedom just calling him one too many times perhaps. Hoping that he did not meet with untimely demise. I like how you visited both sides of this coin. Nicely captured.

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    1. It is tempting, but its hard to really "walk away" ~ Thanks Ginny ~

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  25. I do so hope Jeffrey - although this might appear an odd thing to say - is caught up in the throes of a mid-life crises - and somewhere he is safe.

    I too sometimes look in the mirror and wonder where I have gone...

    Anna :o]

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    1. According to the wife, a mid life crises is a better alternative ~ Perhaps he is & we can only hope he is safe ~ Thanks Anna ~

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  26. Very nicely done. Perhaps it's a blessing that our eyesight diminishes as we age, so the mirror can still be our friend.

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  27. Oh wow. Amazing. Such a poignant story and so well told.

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  28. nicely done...the last two stanzas really heighten the mystery.

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  29. Very cool.. the ending is fantastic. What did he see in that mirror, or didn't see. Well told story/poem.

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  30. Very interesting, yet sad - I wish he came back.

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  31. I like your different style, Grace. Sad story...sometimes people live 2 lifes, one - hidden...~ The point view of his wife maybe right, since they lived 20 years together...she knew....

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  32. You have really told this story well, creating depth to it, bringing your audience into it. Like all here I hope it ends well, for all.

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  33. the first thing that came to mind was... wait - you need ID ( as a cyclist lots of bad stuff can happen )

    You kept me wondering through the whole poem, nice.

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  34. WOW! what a story! I cant imagine walking away without a wallet though. Makes me think there is a bigger sadder story we dont know about. Great write, kiddo! Poor left behind wife.

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  35. Yes, you HAVE a story, Grace, and I like the double scenario scheme.
    Your poem would make a great first brief chapter of a mystery...different, b/c it is a MAN running w/o ID, etc...and not returning...Hmmmm!
    Well written!

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  36. ...that's quite an intriguing story, Grace.... couldn't believe no single clue could be traced prior to the missing.... it's quite a mystery as well...great write, Grace..... great portrayal of the incident... & hope the case will be resolved soon... smiles...

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  37. The man's free spirit and the woman's magic wand lent the poem a magical and mysterious beauty and his disappearance a deep longing......so beautifully penned Grace....

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  38. Yes, beautifully penned. I hope they find him or find out what happened to him for his family.

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  39. Well..i guess the great escape..is better than the potential alternative route...

    Hopefully this isn't one of those places..where the really big wild cats..are not encroached..including the human ones...

    Great .. the words you used to describe it though..as i was convinced it was your husband..until the footnote...

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  40. I guess leaving a story as amazing as this one is what we all seek.

    Beautifully portrayed. Interesting piece.
    I hope there's a happy ending though.

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  41. sad! the portrayal of the two sides paints this piece so well.

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  42. an interesting and well penned tale Grace - forgive me but the 3rd line 1st stanza should that be weigh him down?

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  43. This is wonderful, Grace. I love that neither story is complete, that the resolution is left hanging, out of reach. It's great as a story, sad as a real event.

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  44. If he did just up and walk away, imagine being the wife/family/friends left behind. Did they have any clue something was not right in his world? How could you find trust again if you were the one(s) left behind?

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    1. After I posted that , it occurred to me to also say I hope everything turns out okay. That he didn't leave/is lost because of an illness

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  45. I have not heard of this story - this is fascinating. What a wonderful take on it. I hope there is a happy ending someday...

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  46. Pardon the "double-dip", but I want to comment how MUCH I like your blog-title
    EVERY DAY AMAZING...it is my mantra (in different words).

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  47. Ah, a sad story. I hope all ends well for everybody.

    I like the melding of the stories here, Grace.

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  48. Wow! What a tale. I really want to hear the ending. You've done an amazing job showing both the husband and wife.

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  49. You know that is always the easiest thing for a cop to say...Oh he just walked away" Now they won't know until spring that he was mowed down by a car.

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  50. This is a heartbreaking verse. Especially knowing it's based on truth. Well written, Grace. Have a beautiful week!

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