Perhaps, he said, it’s not a man’s heart or mind
That drives him down to surging sea,
To straining mast.
Not mind, he said, that makes him fill
Some quivering stirrup . . . eagerly,
To float across the grunting, pounding range,
Hat fanning reckless, loose and fast,
Not mind that sends him high,
Beyond the tether of wind, or cloud;
Spear through the air to ride the sky,
Ascend the stairs, forsake the sod,
To loose the reins and challenge, proud;
Or taste the salty tears of God.
Perhaps it’s not the heart, or mind,
That spurs us on from thrill to thrill,
But fluttering soul, stretching, straining,
Caged by ribs and blood, but still,
Impatiently, but uncomplaining,
It waits for some escape to find,
Beneath some struggling bronco’s death,
In some tortured metal fuselage,
Or sinking calm ‘neath raging wave,
Past the pain, and fear, and breath
We learn how new-freed souls behave.
Released now by this mortal’s death,
Unconfined by time and space,
Brighter, lighter, upward cast,
Newborn, it wakes in some chromed tunnel
Just beyond Medusa’s face
And wonders why—It’s free, at last.
Great God almighty, free
. . . at last.