Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 010

Publish date:

While I was on vacation last week, I had the opportunity to run the world's largest 10K road race in Atlanta, Georgia: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race. Along with 55,000 other runners and cheered on by more than 150,000 spectators, I jogged 6.2 miles in around 61 minutes in complete awe and amazement. As a person who's run in some pretty important and fast races, this event totally took my breath away.

It's interesting to think about the kind of reactions people have to a huge mass of people like that. Also, it's interesting to think about why that many people would gather in the first place. Walking up to the start line the morning of the race, I felt almost as if I were looking at an assembled army--one decked out in tank tops, shorts and running shoes.

So for this week's prompt, I want you to write a poem that somehow involves a large crowd. You can be lost in that crowd, leading it, getting pumped up by it, or fearing it. You can leave the reasoning for the crowd ambiguous or make that the point of your poem. Just make sure you play around with it and have fun.

Here's my attempt:

"We started under a flag"

Helicopters hovered overhead;
people shot water across the street
and urged us on to the next mile;
some of us ran, others jogged,
and many walked; many of us didn't
even know where we were, where
we were headed; instead, we
followed those in front who followed
those in front of them; we weren't
concerned with the time; we
worried only over the next hill--
and then the next; some of us
stopped for water and marked off
each mile; some of us quit along
the way; but most of us followed
those in front to the very end.