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
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