Kevin M. Welsh
I GAVE UP MY PLACE TO YOU
In human life we have to learn…
From who goes before… we take our turn.
And in turn for those behind… who follow on,
To give them room when we are gone.
We enter life that we may find
Ways to enhance all humankind.
We each must have our chance to be,
Then leave this world… with dignity.
I ought to give my time for you…
I ought to give up my place to you.
In infanthood we do not wish
To leave too soon… not to perish.
We take the place of those who left,
Of those whose kinfolk are bereft.
But our selfish ways do not allow
A sacrifice for those who follow.
We think we must for our place fight,
And deny another that same right.
I cannot give my time for you…
I cannot give up my place to you.
In childhood we then surely know
There is a place when others go.
The gift that they will leave behind…
The chance for those to come, to find
Their turn for love, comfort and peace,
And happiness before they cease.
But I cannot all this believe
When I have so much to achieve.
I will not give my time for you…
I will not give up my place to you.
In youthhood, as we make our friends,
We strive for them, to make amends
For hurt and harm that they have known…
When all their hopes and dreams were blown
Upon the winds of life’s great storm.
Endeavour we their lives reform.
We defer our own priorities
And sacrifice our liberties.
I might give my time for you…
I might give up my place to you.
In adulthood we realise
It’s not who wins who takes the prize.
But those who stay, who with the weakest rest,
They are the ones who pass the test.
It’s not the one that wins the race
Who leaves the highest valued place.
The place that is the most desired
Is that of one the most admired.
I could give my time for you…
I could give up my place to you.
In conflict and in bitter war
I have put your life before
That of mine, so that you can live…
And all your hopes and dreams achieve.
I’ve had my time and now I find
Contentment of the lasting kind.
For whatever comfort I forsake
Will give you yet a chance to take.
I will give my time for you…
I will give up my place to you.
In memory of my sacrifice
You gain the most from my demise.
Take my place and keep it, until
Of all good things you’ve had your fill.
What I have left, make sure you earn,
Then leave to others in their turn.
Remember this… what I have done
For you, you are the fortunate one.
For I have given my time for you…
Yes! I… gave up… my place… to you.
©Copyright April 2004 by Kevin M. Welsh