The hand that grips so tightly at the reins,
its fingers numb with effort after time,
will endure bruises, callouses and sprains
so long as it still feels the tugging line
that links it to life’s pulsing, straining steeds
as they careen along the path ahead.
In time, firm hands grown weak may start to bleed
and give the team, once strong and fresh, their head;
but then, their sullen backs and swollen legs
will want only their oats and warm, dry stalls.
Despite how earnestly the driver begs,
against such joys the thrill of travel palls.
And so it is with youth that is so bound
it does not love the road, only the goal;
and in its waning moments, can be found
just remnants of a whole and vibrant soul.
21 NOV 2004