Behind a Man

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    Joe rode a fast horse, strong, and iron-heeled.
    Unseen, I raced behind him through the field,
    Barefoot on clods across the furrowed land.
    I was a boy—I ran behind a man.
    The tall man in the saddle was my friend;
    It didn’t matter how the race would end.
    It didn’t matter that I was so small;
    The man I ran behind was ten men tall.
    I caught the horse beneath a big shade tree.
    Surprised, Joe reined him in, and smiled at me.
    He grasped my hand and I climbed up behind,
    And I sat saddle tall, behind a man.
    Since then, I’ve met all kinds who pass for men,
    Who don’t come close to what they could have been.
    It isn’t very often that I find
    A man I’d run barefoot on clods behind …

    [illustration] Illustrated by Peggy Proctor