The Race

"The Race" is a beautiful poem. For those of us who have fallen multiple times this poem gives us hope and the strength to finish the race.

The Race
by D. H. Groberg

"Quit, give up, you're beaten" 
They shout at you and plead 
"There's just too much against you 
This time you can't succeed". 

And as I start to hang my head 
In front of failures face 
My downward fall is broken by 
The memory of a race 

And hope refills my weakened will 
As I recall that scene 
Or just the thought of that short race 
Rejuvenates my being 

A children’s race, young boys 
Young men, how I 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 that race 
Or tie for first, or if not that 
At least take second place 

The fathers watched from off the side 
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 boys 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 they speeded down the field 
Across a shallow dip 
The little boy who thought to win 
Lost his step and slipped 

Trying hard to catch himself 
With hands flew out to brace 
And amid the 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 and 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 to win 
His mind went faster than his legs 
He slipped and fell again 

He wished then that 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 fathers face 
That steady look which said again 
"Get up and win the race" 

So up he jumped to try again 
Ten yards behind the last 
If I'm going to gain those yards he thought 
I've got to move real fast 

Exerting everything he had 
He regained eight or ten 
But 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 hope had fled away 
So far behind so 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 low 
"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 no more than this 
To rise each time you fall 

So up he rose to run once more 
And with a new commit 
He resolved, that win or lose 
At least he shouldn't quit 

So far behind the others now 
The most he'd ever been 
Still he'd give it all he had 
And run as though to win 

Three times he'd fallen, stumbling 
Three times he'd 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 
Head high and proud and happy 
No falling, no disgrace 

But when the fallen youngster 
Crossed the line, last place 
The crowd gave him the greater cheer 
For finishing the race 

And even though he came in last 
With head bent 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 too well" 
"To me you won", his father said 
"You rose each time you fell" 

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