Behind a Man

“Behind a Man,” New Era, May 1973, 51

Behind a Man

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 …

Illustrated by Peggy Proctor