Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

In the obits, ballplayers still finish first,
their August exploits no one quite remembers
restored to life: the diving stop unrehearsed
amid the routine plays of life’s surrender.

But beneath our unnamed pastoral hero,
I’ll find her, too, Ms. Forbes-Under-Thirty
who built a company up from zero,
ran marathons, hosted fundraising parties.

And they’ll leave this out: that we were classmates
and I bested her in Greek, could scan a line
of Pindar, translate Lysias with grace,
knew a middle-voice verb leaves legs of wine,

heard words of dead poets we won’t remember
sing the routine plays of life’s surrenders.

—J. L. Wall

Image by Beraldo Leal via Creative Commons