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The Last Leg

The leg with running shoe
First appeared in Newfoundland,
Moving at a leisurely pace, as if
Part of an invisible runner,
Along the Trans-Canada.

It did not seem to be running for
Any reason-- no marathon for charity,
No message to deliver and no
Messenger to deliver it. The leg
Seemed well developed but unconcerned
About keeping fit.

It ran inexorably across the country
Attracting some attention, but having
Little camera presence and no cause
To advertise. There were no tricks, no ads
For new Canadian cyber-mechanics, no human
Interest in how the leg had always felt
Crippled by its lack of a body.

Presumably, it was reported, the leg didn't care
What country it had the privilege to be running in,
Nor did it comment on the variety and scope
Of the countryside or the history of explorers
And joggers who had passed this way.

In short, the leg became an embarrassment
With its mud-obscured brand-name sneaker
Smelling a bit when it ran by. Canadians everywhere
Went back to business muttering:
"Does it think it's too good to be interviewed?"
"So how come this leg isn't at work?"
"What's its opinion on national unity?"
"So it can run, but can it skate?"
"I wonder if its using steroids?"
"Can't we just give it some money
And get this over with so traffic can speed up?"

No one was watching when it reached
The other sea and dipped its sneaker in,
Pulling out only its bare foot. And no one saw
The big toe writing in the sand
Or when the leg disappeared and the waves
Began to nibble at the dissolving words:
"Mene, Mene, tekel upharsin."