Breaking Strain

You lived a life forever on the run
When one mistake would mean that you were dead
Oft looking down the wrong end of a gun
At such a time you had to keep your head
For any time it seemed you had a heart -
From logic's dictates you appeared to stray -
It still turned out that you were being smart
Since long-range benefits would come your way.
You scorned them all because you used your brains
Found simple what the others called a feat;
Oh, always right - until you took the reins
And found mistakes will plague the driver's seat.
Surviving life had meant you were the best
The odds you bent until you had to win
The means you used were any you possessed
And you would merely smile when Fate stepped in;
But running meant that you could have no rest
And so we saw the subtle cracks begin.

-- Jenny Hayward

(Author's note: This one, as you can tell by the meter, started off as a sonnet, but, as you can also see, ended up with too many lines. It also was written around the same time as my "Rumours of Death" sonnet - 1984, anyway)