Wilma Rudolph














Five long years before your birth

Roman plunder spoiled our land

For Ethiopia’s sake you ran

And proudly took the victory stand.

By then the Allies had restored

Some sanity to life on earth

You arrived in Rome to show the world

Your triumph from a Dixie birth.

Fired up by Jesse’s feat

In that adjacent Axis city

With grace and pace for all to see

Gold, not one, or two, but three.

Countless other women tried

To reach your mark and failed

Battling on with maladies

Wilma’s will to live prevailed.

In track you carved your personal path

From Tennessee to Italy

Reaching ever for the stars

The best that you could ever be

We said goodbye to you O QUEEN

In the Fall of ninety-four

We dearly miss that golden smile

And the heart that beats no more.

*Note: Wilma Rudolph overcame major health problems (childhood polio) and racism in the US south to compete in two Olympic Games and become a triple Olympic champion. She was the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics in 1960, at the Summer Games in Rome. She was considered the fastest woman in the world. Her life is a great inspiration for us, as we face today’s many challenges.

From Earth, Wind and Fire, by Peter Elias, Halifax, 1995

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