Submitted by: Jeremy Friedman

Start spreading the news

To stop spreading the virus,

social distancing has defeated the long-distance run

This year the New York City Marathon is gone


There will be no feet chasing feats on the urban streets

Canceled by concerns over conditions of contagion

Like Wimbledon across the pond

Winnerless with no 2020 edition


Now November will know no richness

in imagery of masses crossing over bridges

shoes pounding pavement of the 5 boroughs

making new history in the old new city


Staten Island will be static only

where the pack would’ve started the journey

Manhattan’s eyes will see no man or woman champion

triumphantly traversing the ribbon, the finish line


26.2 miles of hope, heart, agony, exhaustion,

groans growing into satisfaction, tired smiles

There may be virtual runs running on digital apps,

but no real-life bites at the Big Apple road track


No chance to be a part of it this year

Only apart from it

No race by skyscraper buildings

in the place defined by competition


No just-happy-to-finish stragglers

No runners-up running late, if only by seconds

Like commuters scrambling to catch a train

at the same location on any other day


In the City that never sleeps

where everything is measured in numbers

this year health measures were needed, so more don’t fall sick

And the race’s clock won’t ever start to tick

Jeremy Friedman is a lawyer and poet, whose poetry profile is online at

Featured Image: Museum of the City of New York
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