Run up, take off... and shameful to be flying,
Dust in my mouth, my lids watering are:
Upon two metres twelve, that cursed line,
My way up was barred by the bar.
Iíll admit to you I cannot stop:
Such is athletic life all around -
Only for a moment are you at the top
And then you speedily fall to the ground.
But Iíll eat the fruit off the forbidden tree
And yank the tail of glory when I grab it tight
For everyoneís take-off foot is the left, you see,
While my take-off foot is the right!
Run up, take off... Witnesses to my fall
Drag my legs down with boos at what I did
My coach said, with no pity at all:
"What you are doing is LONG JUMPING, kid!
Youíll have a pulled groin if you donít stop;
Right-foot jumping is a dumb whim, weíve found;
You wonít make it up to the top
And youíll speedily fall to the ground."
But I replied, angered-breathlessly,
But calm and coherently, that in my sight
The thingís that they push off with the left, you see,
While I, I push off with the right.
Run up, push off... At my struggles in vain
My Canadian rival laughs as heís in flight;
At two-twelve, I knocked the bar again
And my coach told me in plain sight
That right in yonder pond Iíll be drowned
So that others wonít follow along
If I wonít this very moment come down
From my right foot, that right foot thatís wrong.
But a cup of hemlock Iíd rather drain
Or do something very nasty to myself
But though my not-right right foot is in vain -
I wonít switch to the right left, for two metres twelve!
The grandstands laugh aloud to themselves
But I try on; their mockery wonít last...
Run up, take off, and flight... Two metres twelve
Is now a rite of passage I have passed!
And if Iím limping hard from my hop
And my pulled groin aches in the night -
But still, I have been to the top
And you canít push me off of that height!
So I ate the fruit of the forbidden tree
And yanked the tail of glory when I grabbed it tight
Although they take off from the left, you see,
While my take-off foot is the right.