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Literary Triathlon: Picks

By Travis McLean


Today's Literary Triathlon pick of the day is from Travis McLean of Burnaby, BC. 

Poetry: The Relay

Four becomes three becomes two;
I am one, waiting.
Her speed comes ferocious,
Reaches with an anchor’s weight.

The baton dangles listlessly,
Fumbles, falls; rolls askew.

Silent wisps like a falling flag,
Her hand is there to catch me, pull me in.
Two becomes three becomes four, together;
Loss, relayed.

Short Story: The Golden Shoes

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for triathlon-shoes.jpg
People don’t remember my name so good these days. Hell, if it weren’t printed on this bracelet I wouldn’t either.

A newspaperman came around this morning asking questions, god-knows-why. It’s been damn-near sixty years since I won that race, felt the wind on my back. He asked about the fall, of course. I guess people like those stories. I left out the part about selling my golden shoes for a bottle of rye. 

“If you’d won today you’d be famous,” he says.

“Nah,” I say. “Wouldn’t stand a chance.”

The medal’s around here someplace, though. Maybe the kids’ll want it.

Creative Nonfiction: The Wooden Plaque
A small boy looks up at an oak board full of names. It hangs there, twice his size, in a lonesome hallway.  Each year: Champion Golfer, Runner-up.

I think of that boy now, the distance that separates us, the stock he put in that board. I think of the way time passes. The way it trundles down the first fairway in morning’s low light. The memories of that week. His callused hands, his neck red with summer, the way he steadied himself, came from out-of-nowhere to finish second. I can see the look on his face when he found out. That his name would mark the board. 

It still brings him happiness, some small fleck of it. And once in awhile, when nobody else’s around, he runs his fingers over the engraved letters, to see how they feel, the smooth arches beneath his fingertips. His name in history, however small.

Travis McLean is from Burnaby, BC

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