"Don't tell anyone that. It's too embarassing."

And he never says that. Here's what he didn't want me to admit: my secret weapon for running a 1/2 marathon.

Yes, I've trained (sort of). And had my smart, pre-race breakfast. And I'm running with two friends (hopefully I can keep up with them) who will hopefully have something engaging to say for TWO AND A HALF HOURS. But if all else fails, I've got my running "poems." Here they are:

I am a horse clip-clop clip-clop. I am a horse I love to run.


I run to meet the rising hill. I run to meet the hillll!

They're not good poems. Maybe they're not even poems but they are language spoken (silently) in rhythm to my body's movement and they got me through some tough miles last week.

So, on this cold and rainy morning in NYC, I'm off to see if one thing poetry can do is get me through mile 11.

I'll let you know.

Originally Published: April 25th, 2010

Poet and educator Rachel Zucker was born in New York and grew up in Greenwich Village, the daughter of novelist Benjamin Zucker and storyteller Diane Wolkstein. She earned her BA at Yale University and her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.   Zucker’s expansive yet lyrical poems interrogate and deftly...