If We Run Fast We will Stumble

by Renwick Berchild

There is the sensing
Of darkness should I move, a
Bend I can not see beyond, a ruthless
Unknown.

Silent as a virus; what careful steps
May I take to apprehend
Sudden villainy? How to quash a thorn
Before my thumb be pricked.

I make my way
By light, avoiding shadows with
Delicate grace. I build towers
Of illumination, stare at stones with resolve.

With brightness, I drink
And bathe. I tremble at
The closing of my eyelids, I pursue the sun
With utter haste.

If I decide to run fast I will stumble.
How wary will I live?
I reach a hand into blackness;
All the emptiness, it sings.

I stumble. I fall. It’s painful.
I grieve.
I see there in the distance
My own grave.

Here, all
This night is deathly, is deep;
A raven wing over my forehead, a vision
Of a yellowing leaf.

But I can not help but notice how far I have traveled
Without my hesitance, my fear.
If I run fast I will stumble.
So I stumble, year after year and after.

But I don’t die. I
Seize and plunge and
Break bones and cry.
But,

I don’t die.

I can almost see the horizon now.

I race

Faster

Still

—I won’t die.

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