We stood in the field that together weíd cleared

With sweat and muscle and brawn;

Dadís face was sober, weathered and tanned,

I listened as they talked on.

"My son, - well, heís crippled, Henry, - you know;

And I should have kept this land;

I was offered enough to pay off his place -

I should help him all that I can."

I was just twenty, and I looked at Dad;

He was drawiní with his foot in the sand;

I remembered the sweat and the toil it took

To clear the brush off of that land.

Dadís shoes were worn - the sole was loose -

Seven kids waitiní at home;

Still he debated and gave me that day

A gift that Iíll always own.

I felt Dadís eyes on my fit body then -

It was lean, but strong and sure,

No crippled legs on his sturdy son -

No such pain to endure.

Though poor and in need still we were blest...

Dad wrestled with right, need, and wrong...

The land he had bought for half the price -

And heíd labored hard dawn after dawn.

"Meet me at nine in front of the bank,"

Dad said in a husky voice.

"Weíll tear up the papers and you will be free

To sell it and help your boy."

All the way home we said not a word -

Oh, Dad would have bought it again;

But he barely arranged the first price asked -

...Times were hard back then.

Iíve wondered oft times through the rest of my life

How many would have made the same choice?

His unselfish act was example to me.

Oft times itís made my heart rejoice;

For the memory plays the strings of my heart,

And itís melody vibrates with beauty;

He left me a memory money canít buy....

And he only deemed it his duty.

Joan Clifton Costner
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Awards Two


My Dreams

For My Mother