A year ago, the day after the Boston Marathon bombing, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino created The One Fund with the purpose of helping those most affected by the bombings. The Fund collected and distributed nearly $61 million to over 230 individuals in just the first few months.
Shortly after the bombing, two poets, runners and editors decided they wanted to contribute also, and conceived the idea of an anthology of poems by runners, with half the profits from sale of the anthology going to The One Fund. Martin Elwell and Jenn Monroe put out a call for poems, and a few months later published Bearers of Distance. The book includes nearly 50 poems written by runners and poets of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, poems that aren’t necessarily about running but inspired by running. Besides the usual poetry bio for each contributor, there is also a running bio.
I was honored to have the poem below selected for inclusion in the anthology, and especially today, as we all think back to that grim afternoon a year ago, I’m happy to have been a tiny part of one effort to bring healing to those affected.
Don’t name the color. Let the dawn
on snow be the last finch flapping
out of my sleep and drawing me
into the morning ice air sharp
against my cheeks. Yesterday’s
footsteps lead into the street,
the robin that haunts the buried garden
waits at the end of the road. Desire
twitches its tail, lungs feed my heart,
my blood carrying memory, a lover’s
arm that wrapped my waist as I slept,
the sun gold, snow on fire.