Why

A poem by Pat O'Cotter

Why is it Alaskans all come back
When they've quit this land for good?
Why is it that no man stays away
When he's sworn to his friends he would?
Where lies the grip this country hath
All tangled around the heart
That takes a grip that can never slip
And can never be torn apart?

Is it the lure of the summer sunshine
That goes to the head like wine?
Is it the lure of the far flung meadows
Of the shadowy scented pine?
Is it the lure of going where none have gone
Of just being alone in the wild?
Is it the lure of the ancient glaciers
That were old when Christ was a child?

They come here wild, athirst for gold
They would win and run away,
They lose the stake they brought along
And then they have to stay.
Here each one follows his own bent,
The mines, the hills, the mart,
Work's but a name, the end's the same,
The country steals your heart.

There's a lure to the land of the poppy,
There's a lure to the land of your birth,
You swear you abhor it, and yet you'll long for it
As no other land on this earth.
There's the lure of the snow mantled vastness,
There's the lure of each valley and hill,
Of friends that you've met, that you'll never forget
And you'll want to come back, and you will.

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