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What do I owe you son
but life already in you bestowed?

in the eternal cosmic race
your turn in relay will soon be next
many laps ancestors have already run
yet many more lie ahead of you and me

our turn demands of us
courage to dare the course
strength to keep the pace
patience to evade the bumps
love to heal the wounds
and more than all else
commitment so we don't quiver or quit
until the baton we pass on
to generations of children yet unborn

this race since antiquity God ordained
for His image in creation to be sustained
grand-dad's race is done
for his time he did his best
in peaceful contentment and eternal rest
he cheers us on to keep the faith

my lap's final stretch has come
soon in your hand I'll place
the symbol of the task ahead of you
the race is long and can be daunting
but steadfast you must be till the end

no runner alone can win or lose the race
for each his own weight shall pull in turn
the cosmic race will go on and on
for eternity or, at least
as far as the eye can see.

[To Adora, Ofodile and Ibeka]
(Written - c. 1995)
The Survival Struggle for Ndiigbo

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