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Outdoor Writing: Cross Country

Madison Janke, a Northwest Christian High School junior, was a runner-up in The Spokesman-Review’s 2016 Outdoor Writing Contest. (Courtesy photo / Courtesy photo)
Madison Janke, a Northwest Christian High School junior, was a runner-up in The Spokesman-Review’s 2016 Outdoor Writing Contest. (Courtesy photo / Courtesy photo)
By Madison Janke Junior, Northwest Christian

Tinder grass and free highway crab apples

Free because the trees ignore the barbed wire and hang over the asphalt

Which is technically everybody’s property, though nobody fills the potholes.

Our palms splinter from grabbing at the heads gone to seed.

On the edge of the Christmas tree farmer’s hay field

Dying plants will do that to a person.

Flying by, we playact some kind of imaginary indie film

Girls with bare skin and hundred-dollar shoes

Rush on and rush life into the Vault of Eternity.

One of us will pick the wilting wildflowers

And thread them singly into the elastics of our ponytails.

Allegorically, we honor the passing of two kinds of seasons

Between The Four of Us and even the rest of us

There lies a tacit understanding that plains and pines

Are never as real as they are in Washington.

Our acres are documented in formal photos

But we store them in our pounding feet and calm heartbeats

Because “we run for a crown that will last forever”

And a photo does not last forever but

We will, we will.

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