Friday, May 14, 2010

The Race

"Quit, give up, you're beaten", they shout at you and plead,
"There's just so much against you now, this time you can't succeed,"
And as I start to hang my head, in front of failures faced,
My downward fall is broken, by the memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will, as I recall the scene,
For just the thought of that short race, rejuvenates my being.

A children's race, young boys, young men, I do remember well,
Excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn't hard to tell.
They all lined up, so full of hope, each thought to win the race,
Or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
And fathers watching from the sides, each cheering for his son,
And each boy hoped to show his Dad, that he could be the one.

The whistle blew, and off they went, young hearts and hopes afire,
To win and be the hero there, was each young boy's desire.
And one boy in particular, whose Dad was in the crowd, was running,
Near the lead, and thought "My Dad will be so proud."
But as he sped straight down the field, across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win, did lose his step and slip,
Trying to catch himself, his hands flew out to brace,
And mid laughter of the crowd, he fell flat on his face.

But as he fell, his Dad stood up, and showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said, "Get up, go win the race"
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit, that's all,
And ran with all his might and mind, to make up for the fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and win,
His mind went faster than his legs, he slipped and fell again.

He wished then he had quit before, with only one disgrace
"I'm hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn't try to race"
But in the laughing crowd he searched, and found his father's face
That steady look that said again "Get up and win the race.
So up he jumped to try again, ten yards behind the last,
"If I am going to gain those yards, then I have got to move real fast"
Exerting everything he had, he regained but eight or ten,
Still trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.

Defeat, he lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye,
"There's no sense running anymore - three strikes, I'm out, why try?"
The will to rise had disappeared, all hopes had fled away,
So far behind, and error-prone, a loser all the way

"I've lost, so what?" he thought, "I'll live with my disgrace,"
But then he thought about his Dad, whom soon he'd have to face,
"Get up" the echo sounded clear, "Get up and take your place,
You were not meant for failure here, get up and win the race."
With borrowed will "Get up" it said "You haven't lost at all,
For winning is not more than this - to rise each time you fall.

So far behind the others now, the most he'd ever been,
But still he gave it all he had, and ran as though to win.
Three times he'd fallen, three times he rose again,
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner, as he crossed the line first place,
His head held high and proud, No falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen runner crossed the line, last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer, for finishing the race,
And though he came in last, with head bowed low, unproud.
You would have thought he'd won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his Dad he sadly said, "I didn't do so well"
"To me you won" his father said, "You rose each time you fell."

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