The Course

Impression from a running man

Too large for smaller toes to fill

Therein the risk that footsteps pose

Creating lines of human will

That outline choices in one life –

One forking path of joy and strife

And so I pull them with both hands

To run beside, and not behind

For theirs is each their own to run

Joy and sorrow, pride and pain

Days in sunshine, days in rain

But theirs will be their own – so why

Should I expect their steps to try

To mimic mine? In craft or trade,

Relationships, or schoolbook grades,

No tick of my life’s clock is theirs,

No breath of my days their affair,

Nor would I ask that they should run

In footsteps never meant for them

So pull again I do; resistance

From these hands, who know not how

I plan for distance, every day

In every hour and endeavor

They will know these days themselves

But not today, and not tomorrow

Should their hours be so spent; so

Childhood, its own defense

Against such works, and breaths, and days

This the reason that I stay

Resolutely to one side; I gently

Pull them into stride

Upon their own path, footsteps theirs

To treasure when they flew in grace

Or mourn when, stumbling, red in face

They found themselves in moments dire

Balanced there upon the wire

Of their making; this will be

I know it, for I’ve lived this too

But I wish for them these moments new

Spent on the run, on paths they flew

Along in sunshine.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for the awesome insight into educating children.


  2. […] These have to be the most insightful words I have seen written about educating children in the last two centuries! Thanks for sharing them, Dave. The Course. […]


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