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The Links

by Nancy Clark
Come, they do, indeed, in daily waves
Full-armed to play the links, as toward them
Beat the ocean's constant waves and roar.
The links of Ireland, nature made, thick gorsed
And brambled, blown, and carved with seagrassed dunes
Extend a fearsome hospitality.

Trek, they do, of course, to play the game
Down footworn paths and up the steep inclines
Down fairways lean, and into bunkers deep.
Through niggling rain or sudden storm or wind
Of force to bend a shot, they march ahead
And press their will and skill to stay the course.

Search, they will, aye, through the endless rough
For errant balls they vowed were struck true-lined
And safe--on holes with names to ponder:
Giant's Grave, The Narrows, Heaven's Highway
Purgatory or Calamity,
Each offering hazards and humility.

Pause, they must, indeed, along the way
To sense with reverence their sky-blessed track,
Strong coast, wild landscape in demand of awe.
Then grand, it is, to celebrate their play
Assess both luck and loss, and sure,
As waves still come to shore, return they will.

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Copyright © 2000 by Nancy Clark. All rights reserved.