half finished

This Life
by Kay Ryan

It’s a pickle, this life.
Even shut down to a trickle
it carries every kind of particle
that causes strife on a grander scale:
to be miniature is to be swallowed
by a miniature whale.  Zeno knew
the law that we know: no matter
how carefully diminished, a race
can only be half finished with success;
then comes the endless halving of the rest–
the ribbon’s stalled approach, the helpless
red-faced urgings of the coach.

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