What I Remember

is not the race itself but the evening

which disappeared in a tangle of diving

sunlight and nerves as I hugged myself,

chilled, and waited for the starter, bent

forward, the tang of mown grass

sprayed like water and the white lines

freshly painted on the spongy red track,

breasting the tape, alone and splendid,

queen of my own universe, then the medal

like a tiny sun catching the last of the light,

and feeling as if my heart would burst.

from Not in this World (Bloodaxe, 2015), © Tracey Herd 2015, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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