The runner’s the disciple of travel,
Ambassador from determination;
All the wars a runner fights are civil,
The self-turned challenge, the primal agitation.
We tritely say that running signs the human
Spirit, community of close-stepping pack,
Second wind as individual omen,
We measure with matched morals on the track.
The marathon has its doubly special place,
One ancient courier blessed Coubertin’s rostrum;
Seek the best of and from us at the race,
The world in shared stride on the course at Boston.
That flag row at the finish, rippling yet calm
Must not presage the terror and the bomb.

Boston Marathon finish, pre-blast






Photo by Aaron “tango” Tang.

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UCHE OGBUJI is a founding editor of the TNB Poetry section. He is also co-creator and co-host of the Poetry Voice podcast. His short collection of poems Ndewo, Colorado (Aldrich Press, 2013) is a winner of the 2014 Colorado Book Awards. To expand a bit, Uche Ogbuji was born in Calabar, Nigeria. He lived, among other places, in Egypt and England before settling near Boulder, Colorado where he lives with his wife and four children. Uche is a computer engineer (trained in Nigeria and the USA) and entrepreneur whose abiding passion is poetry. His poems, fusing Igbo culture, European Classicism, U.S. Mountain West setting, and Hip-Hop influences, have appeared widely. Uche also snowboards, coaches and plays soccer, and trains in American Kenpo. You can catch more of the prolifically fraying strands of his life on his home page, or, heck, even on Twitter.

2 responses to “A refusal to fix upon the worst of humanity after the 2013 Boston Marathon”

  1. fine work, uche. “seek the best of and from us . . .” right to the heart.


  2. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Thanks Sherry. I do admire runners and the running spirit, and how it brings the world together on a level (and usually apolitical) playing field. Some of the greatest sporting moments have featured runners, from Vanderlei de Lima’s joyful marathon finish at Athens after having been attacked during the race, and shocked almost to the point of dropping out, or Ivan Fernandez Anaya’s refusal to finish ahead of Abel Mutai who had mistaken the location of the finish line, and instead helping the Kenyan to his winning finish.

    I’m not really a runner; all I can claim is an annual go at the Bolder Boulder 10K (and I’ve used that as occasion for poking gentle fun at running culture) but I do admire from afar. And there’s also a great deal to admire about spectators of runners, as NPR covered in this wonderful program yesterday. It’s just heartbreaking that so many people, runners and spectators, at such a world-wide event were visited with such appalling violence. But cliché or not, the running spirit will survive even such horror. I’ll be thinking of Boston every step of my Bolder Boulder run this coming Memorial Day, running with my family, as always.

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