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Heart Land, bread basket, rich earth that I love
Land of four seasons; gift from Lord above
Place I’ll always think of as my true home
Singing Homeward Bound, coming back to you

Great Spanish Augustine to Bonaparte
Travel from deepest South to nation’s heart
Louisiana purchase large and vast
Place of roots and beginnings; dye was cast

Three decades spent in her nurturing arms
More to my druthers than years of southern charm
Rolling hills of cropland for which I yearn
Soon see grandchild; next generation’s turn

Miles divide us, half nation away
Visiting my babies, wish I could stay
Been proud father for quarter century
“Grandad” moniker is new one for me

Traveling with life partner, my blessed spouse
In autumn years; nice to roam and carouse
Ripe summer fruit of marriage sacrament
Their glass mostly full, ours is two third spent

Heart Land, bread basket, rich earth that I love
Land of four seasons; gift from Lord above
Place I’ll always think of as my true home
Singing Homeward Bound, coming back to you

Pass down the mantel and the carving knife
Two that were children grown to man and wife
To everything a season, turn, turn, turn
Joy, health and happiness for them I yearn

Friendly competition since time of boy
Into racing fray once more we do go
One for all, all for one; fun is our plan
Spit-fire wife, handsome son, racing this old man

Pregnant cheerleader awaits on warm sand
Quickened grandbump keeps her on dry land
It’s one for the money, two for the show
We’re racing triathlon and here we go!

Penultimate wave standing on dry sand
Just one-third mile swim to distant strand
Lined up toe to toe is me and young man
With starters gun fly into wet fry pan

Heart Land, bread basket, rich earth that I love
Land of four seasons; gift from Lord above
Place I’ll always think of as my true home
Singing Homeward Bound, coming back to you

Last group to leave includes my intrepid wife
Pregnant daughter-in-law just out of sight
Back, breaststroke or crawl, we’re all getting wet
For competition we’re ready and set

Into the water venture with my son
Things are going swimmingly, having fun
After a short while I hesitate
Breathing quite labored; need to resuscitate?

Signal with semaphore I’m in distress
Hang from green kayak, take a little rest
Procedure I repeat, time and again
Guardian angel Al soon becomes my friend

Heart Land, bread basket, rich earth that I love
Land of four seasons; gift from Lord above
Place I’ll always think of as my true home
Singing Homeward Bound, coming back to you

Half hour later; twice as long as planned
Reach terra firma, grateful for dry land
Feeling of expectation I’d started with
Understood now clearly just a big myth

Heart Land, bread basket, rich earth that I love
Land of four seasons; gift from Lord above
Place I’ll always think of as my true home
Singing Homeward Bound, coming back to you

Down but not defeated took a slow walk
Started my bike ride with just strikes and balks
Ten minutes behind next competitor
Now felt lazy but no longer unsure

Clipped into my pedals, away I rode
Hoped to pick off stragglers, humans behold
After long distance, just a mile to go
Just up ahead my son I do behold

Slip into running shoes, don different hat
Hope to run him down, though not much chance of that!
Mile later still pulled away from me
Finishing her run my wife I do see

Like Rocky Balboa call out, “Adrienne!”
Smiles and blows kisses, last hill ascends
I’m barely running but not yet walking
Slow, steady pace with which I’m advancing

Heart Land, bread basket, rich earth that I love
Land of four seasons; gift from Lord above
Place I’ll always think of as my true home
Singing Homeward Bound, coming back to you

Progress I’m making catches not my son
Rather two ladies, finally outrun
Though I cross the finish line before them
With three-minute head start they’ve truly won!

The end inexorably draws nearer
Smile at clan that greats me with a cheer
Personal record of negative kind
First time losing race; feeling not sublime

Though I am weary, I feel not defeat
Happy at last to rest; get off my feet
Me and loving family we decompress
Glad to be finished, end of tri-ing chess

Once roaring lion now just pussy cat
End of racing days? Not yet time for that
With grandchildren to be role model for
Race now just for fun regardless of score

Heart Land, bread basket, rich earth that I love
Land of four seasons; gift from Lord above
Place I’ll always think of as my true home
Singing Homeward Bound, coming back to you

 

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