The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Jacqueline Jules

Running with the Bulls

My son plans to run with the bulls in Pamplona.
On the way to the airport
he checks with his traveling buddies:
"Did you pack sneakers, a white shirt, a red scarf?"

My son refuses to watch life from the balcony.
His heart thunders at the sound of hooves,
trampling his youth,
finished in four minutes,
whether he runs in Pamplona or not.

I'd like to force him back,
safely behind the barricades,
waving bright yellow arms
in his confident face.
But the closer I come to sixty,
the more I regret
never standing in the arena
with sword and red cape.

The soles of my shoes stink,
soiled by cowardly dung.  

But my son will run with the bulls
in Pamplona,
and wherever else he can find them.

If I could stop biting my fist,
I'd be proud.

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