(February/'47 / Connecticut, USA)

Being Competitive

The only thing I regret,
About being competitive...
Is the slowing down of my pace,
To await for adequate competition.
And then...
'Pretending' there are competitors,
Capable with me to compete.
To permit, but not too often done,
Someone else to win...
Just to keep myself from getting bored.

'Excuse me, sir...
And I am not mentioning this to offend.
We do have our rules and regulations here.
Don't you 'think' you are a little too old,
To be playing games with these kids! '

Have you heard them complain?

No I haven't.'

If they don't know what you and I do,
Who else is going to teach them...
Losing sometimes is a part of life.

'But you are treating them as if they are adults.'

If they want to play the game...
As if they know everything,
Who else is going to teach them...
A few things about life they don't know.

'Yeah, but...
Most of them are crying and trying too hard.'

It's better for their tears to come now than later.

'I would never treat kids that way.'

Apparently you don't know these 'kids'.
You may see them crying and trying hard.
But who do you see sitting,
Resting to catch a breath?
And that's what I don't want them to see.
Or suspect they can do that to me.
The more they try with tears to cry,
I'm satisfied.
Here they come wanting more.
And DON'T say anything about me being older.
I don't want that noticed,
As much as I want them to remain competitive.

'I'm going to report you to the authorities! '

Perhaps they will get the message.

by Lawrence S. Pertillar

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