The First Peg
It was a brand new torture rack,
The coaches’ latest scheme,
They put behind the bleachers back
Just for the football team.
A board, not e’en a ruler wide,
But thick like muscled men,
Twas fastened to the girder’s side,
To help the home team win.
A dozen holes drilled carefully
(Woodpeckers put to shame);
Six in a line spaced vertically,
And six more spaced the same.
The holes, however, did not match,
Weren’t lined up side by side.
Instead, they’d shifted six, one batch,
A half space subtle slide.
And there we were, youths in a line
Faced with a daunting chore,
Ingenious by mad design,
To mold us into more.
We had two pegs, the climb to make.
The first hole was a breeze -
Like rats with ease, a bite can take
From traps before they squeeze.
Just standing, that first hole was gained,
And then, with peg in place,
One pulled his weight up, ever strained,
Toward next hole in board’s face.
And with the new height safely reached,
The peg, one hand – all weight,
The climber, with those knuckles bleached,
Not long could hesitate.
The other hand, like waving vine,
Had second peg to set
In higher hole in other line
Before fatigue wins bet.
That task alone might make one sore:
The hole, for peg, was tight.
One must recall, it had the chore
Of bearing weight outright.
Then, with the peg securely in,
The first hand had relief.
For second, now, to its chagrin
Was challenged as the chief.
The weight now went to limb that lazed
So first peg had release.
When taken out, one’s weight was raised
By that arm’s elbow grease.
And up some went, that patterned path:
Strain one, with other place
A peg before tired muscle’s wrath;
Release, then start new race.
The ones who finished could look back
And see how they began,
What was a must to start their track
Toward highest heights of man.
And all along the way was true –
One peg does weight endure.
Win (climb or life), be one of few;
Peg cumbered must be sure.
© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2013.