There are times,
When he can catch his breath,
When his heart isn’t batter-hammering
Inside his chest,
Inside his brain,
That he can believe the lies:
That he is gaining on the familiar figure
Disappearing through the doors,
Ahead, frustratingly just beyond recognition;
That he can decide whenever he wants
To stop running;
That, after all, this is just
Another bad, bad dream.
In which he seems to be running, through an endless chain of doors,
And the darkness,
Among long-dead dust.
He is slightly stooping
As he stumbles between indistinct walls,
But he just can’t remember
Why he is chasing the individual –
That every now and then he
Seems to recognise; either
The body language or the gait.
And he cannot think why
The figure is running away.
He needs to ask him …
But to do that, well …
He has, first, to catch up with him.
Every now and then
He has an urge to look behind him:
Just to check:
How far he has come,
How far it will be to get back.
Strangely, when he does turn
He is aware that, just maybe,
The distant figure he is after
Also looks back, but he is never sure.
Then comes a shocking moment of uneasiness;
Because, from the corner of his back-turned eye,
He sees another figure
That seems to be pursuing him.
But that figure is also looking over his shoulder.
He feels the need to get away,
Looks forward and tries, desperately to accelerate.
The character ahead, he notices
Is doing exactly the same!