Crumbling her empty paper cup
Holding the dregs of nerves and caffeine,
She impatiently tossed it into the nearby bin.
Scanning the road, she watched and waited,
Ignoring the jumbled fragments of conversation around her.
The runners appeared suddenly.
At first mere dots in the distance, then finally a moving mass of people.
They thundered past the screams of encouragement from the waiting crowd.
Her son, not at the end, but in the middle of the moving pack.
Panting, encouraged by the cheers, they ran past,
Arms reaching for the cups of juice.
As they passed her,
She saw her son's eyes, searching; his smile, strong and purposeful
And she smiled back--proudly.
One more hill to conquer before the finish.