I’ve worn my loosest tee

and sternest expression.

I take a deep breath

and cock my elbows,

pointed, dangerous

and ready

for the Battle of Grope.

It’s Sunday evening

and I’m about to run alone.

I start slow and weave my way in

around the leaking sewer

around the sandwich masticating masses

and right between lovers

who were about to hold hands.


How could I have known?

I run, I run, I run.

Oh, look.

Here comes Major Sly,

eyes focussed on me

and body language

a bit too nonchalant

he walks close,

uncomfortably close.

I cock my elbows again

ready for combat.

I’m a veteran by now.

But a family pours in

from all sides

a selfie obsessed throng of

uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces,

mummies, daddys and token grandparent.

In the crowd I lose easily,

Maj.Sly brushes my hips

with a song on his lips.

I close my eyes in anger

and in a second I lose him.

Maj.Sly has slipped and

blended into a 100 people

with the mutant powers

of Mystique.

And so,

I run, I run, I run.

It’s 6:30 now,

sweat pours down my brow

trickles into my eyes

I look left at the sun,


dipping deliciously into sea.

Another sea roars past me

on the promenade

as 300 people seek private sunsets.

I dodge people and dogs

and bystanders who stare

without a trace of shame.

I run past men exercising

on ‘Women Only’ poles,

no one has noticed

because no woman

has ventured

a ‘pull-up’ in public.

I run, I run, I run.

I am huffing and puffing

when The Comic spots me.

His entourage mills around me


as he imitates my slow, leaden run

with exaggerated huffs and puffs.

I want to stop and scream

I want to challenge him

and his exaggerated paunch.

But I run and run and run

because for once running away

is an act of courage

It means he can’t stop me.

And nothing will.

I run, I run, I run.