Monday, 5 March 2018


Saved up pocket money got me a pair of spikes
from the second-hand pile; spikes you had to screw in.
Smelling of leather and stained with another's sweat,
I sought to gain an edge in these at the County Sports.

My arena was a stadium full of athletes to chase,
a roll call of names whose mention quickened the pulse,
like Lillian Board (same name as my mother). Silver was
not enough in Mexico; cancer set to beat them both.

Today the name is Bannister, the disease Parkinson's,
his Everest miles behind him, the stop-watch still.
And I remember the smell of grass, our numbers
safety-pinned, the starter's gun, my running spikes.

© Pat Edwards

Pat Edwards is a writer, teacher and performer living in Mid Wales. Her work has appeared in various publications including Prole, Picaroon, The Curlew, Ink Sweat and Tears and the soon to be published #MeToo Anthology. Pat runs Verbatim poetry open mic nights and curates Welshpool Poetry Festival.