The Finish Line by Maame Akua Koduah

I was meant for this

The swift rushing wind

The shouts and cheers

Nimble feet on trodden ground

I was almost there

My spirit soared

Victory was mine

 

It happened then

The unthinkable

Excruciating pain shot through my being

My body on fire

Unquenchable

Through a haze

I felt myself being lifted

And then I blacked out

 

Life appeared to be no longer worth living

Days passed in treacherous solitude

Tiredness of everything and everyone

All sparks of joy evaporated

Angry became my middle name

My family, the unfortunate recipient

Tiptoeing around me all day long

Lest they do or say anything wrong

And spark an unjustly wrath

 

Till I looked in the mirror

And saw a face so unlike mine

Sunken eyes

Unblinking and fierce

With every trace of humour gone

My lips unsmiling

Where formerly smiles had adorned them

All day long

It was time for a change

 

I had moped for far too long

Self-pity enveloping me

Singing dirges in my ears

Blinding me till all I saw was darkness

Taking away my joy and happiness

Channelling all my energy to sadness

 

I refused to be subdued any longer

Training with a vengeance

My body refusing to respond at first

Till I pushed harder with all my strength

Getting back in shape was a grueling task

Giving up then seemed like the smartest choice

Until persistence knocked on my door

And perseverance beckoned to me

 

Changing of short raspy breaths

Stamina dancing with glee

Speed becoming a second skin

I found myself moving even faster than before

Time trying her best to outdo me

And failing miserably

 

The hour had come

For me to prove myself

Battling with all that was within and without

Till I saw the flag of victory

Waving frantically as if to say welcome back!

Legs outstretched

Eyes fixed straight ahead

Hands itching to swing

 

I took the first step

And then a second

Feeling the world whirl by

A blur of red, yellow and green

Screams from one end

Shouts from another

The pounding of feet

Moving at different speeds

The swirling of sand

Beads of sweat trickling down

Breath growing more uneven by the second

And finally the last few steps covered

With a new burst of energy

The finish line a thing of the past

I had made it!

Victory smiled

A beautiful broad smile

Just for me