Owen old friend, sweet humble, gentle man,
Who might have guessed that you’d so quickly run
To that great invitational on high
Where all the best long-distance runners come.
You’d barely time to rest or take a bow
For trophies all your quiet toil had won,
When, out of nowhere, fell the deathly pall,
And black clouds loomed to block away your sun.
How we will miss your kindly earnest face,
So quick to share a welcoming smile with all;
You always had the time and gentle grace
To share yourself with others great or small.
Some might suppose that bloated cheater, death
Stalked off victorious on the day you fell,
But he is but a shadow stealing breath;
Your shining spirit far o’er-leaped his hell.
My guess is when your toe touched down on gold
Grazing that gleaming, pearly, heavenly sill,
A nail-scarred hand reached out, and love took hold
And set you dancing on a heavenly hill.
We all face such a jump, a fearful trial,
A leap for life across death’s chasm wide;
May we who follow meet your happy smile,
And outstretched hand to set us down in stride.
Till then, Lord, send Dee* peace and love and joy,
A troop of friends and angels for her care;
Just like the ones who wafted her sweet boy
Homeward to Heaven at her fervent prayer.
So thanks, Lord, for the gift of Owen's life;
May all be blessed, especially his sweet wife.
Gene Pinkney 11/20/02
*Dee was Owen Jensen’s loving wife. Both were involved
in track and field ports, and coached and taught at North Dakota
State College of Science for many years. Owen had an uncanny ability
to bring out the best in his athletes. NDSCS will never see another
2006 © Gene Pinkney