For Kate, who nailed her first half-marathon today

 

I thought I knew what you were made of

until I took you running that time –

your first time

in forever –

and I told you, 4 miles in,

that the poplar trees

that marked the end of the route

were just around the corner.

 

I honestly thought they were.

I’m sorry.

 

5 miles in, I said we could stop

and walk for while if you wanted.

You didn’t want.

 

7 miles in, we were purple-faced and panting,

and I was feeling

like the worst friend in the world.

Hadn’t you been through enough?

 

‘They’re just around the corner.’

 

They weren’t.

 

10 miles in, we saw them.

I staggered, we staggered,

I was staggered

at your strength.

 

I watched, breathless, as you ran for your life –

braver, fiercer, wilder, more beautiful than you knew.

 

I’m not sorry.