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You Who Went Before

By John I. Blair

You who went before:
I know your names,
I know your faces.

Iíve learned where you lie
In grassy graveyards
Far away.

How can I imagine
From my soft city life
What you had to do

For those such as me
To even be,
Much less thrive?

The endless toil,
The heat, cold, wet,
Drought, dirt

That you endured
Just to stay alive
There in a land

So wild and lonely,
Full of risk, of opportunity,
Love and loss,

Amaze and terrify us
As they must have you;
And yet Iím here today,

To testify you made
A future happen
You would never see.

©2016 John I. Blair

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