by Jay O'Toole
Life is like running a marathon. We have to pace ourselves for the running of it.
To live and run and work and love
through moving, daily days.
To finish for the prize Above
is how His Name we praise.
For nine long months a life of ease
in Utero's swimming pool
created hope myself would please,
and others, my own tool.
But with one smack the doctor broke
to make me just another bloke,
who runs this race for free.
To eat and lie in smelliness,
to live a life of sleep,
exploring wonder, heart to bless,
and learning e'er more deep.
To walk upon these wobbly legs,
to fall and bounce on bum,
experience of scrambled eggs,
and milk upon me some.
To ride around with Mom and Dad
in something really big
became a joy so often glad,
I fain would dance a jig.
But one day when a-riding, we
did stop and all got out
to leave me in a strange house, See?
My dance became a pout.
"A nursery school for playing, Son.
Goodbye. We'll see you soon."
"But I don't know them. Not a one.
I have not one balloon."
"Just trust us. It will all be fine.
Great fun throughout your day."
"The spinach was not very kind,
and Teacher caused dismay."
In first-grade I saw fuzzy blobs
upon the big blackboard,
which learning they would daily rob
to be most untoward.
But Teacher figured out my case,
"Some glasses he must have."
Then, to the doctor at some place,
we tested in his lab.
"He's near of sight. He needs some specs,
and life will better be."
He gave me glasses with respect,
but the glasses were not free.
Twelve years of school, primarily.
My courses were superb,
but high school girlfriends weren't for me
as often was observed.
I finished school at the top of my class,
yet leadership was small,
but Captain of my band to pass
impressive in that hall.
The college years were really great
in them I met my wife.
Two years, almost, we spent in dates,
then married we for life.
The working years are varied still.
A teacher, I, and salesman, too,
announcing radio to fill
my joy remembered, that I do.
For many years no child had we,
but then one day she came,
for now, that anniversary,
and years of her the same.
A dancer, and a singing star,
an actor on the stage
of these gifts we see she'll go far
to turn adult's new page.
The days beyond her home wrought years
will visit all too soon.
"God, grant us strength to roll our fears
upon Thy shoulders strewn.
"And turn our fears to confidence
in all You will create.
Remold our hearts in spices minced
for Everlasting's Date."
In twenty years or thirty, (more?)
we'll land on Heaven's hill,
expansive Grace to e'er explore,
and better live His will.
These days of Earth are just a taste
of that, which e'er will be.
Salvation's Hope by heart embraced
to make that Day so FREE.
"Please, grant me, Lord, to see the faces
of my earthly loves,
surrounding You in lasting graces
in Your Home Above."
Open Prompt: Write a poem over 30 lines, Structured or Free Verse, on the topic of your choosing.
Written for "The Whatever Contest." "The Whatever Contest"
Word Count: 523
Line Count: 92
Verses Count: 23 quatrains
Style: Iambic Quatrains with the occasional anapestic foot or two
by Jay O’Toole
on April 21st, 2021