Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Day of the Race

The Day of the Race

Among the massed humanity
watching the race,
I noticed a man who went unnoticed,
his face anonymous,
his body, thin, of average height,
hair, graying, thinning.
He was clothed, plainly,
scuffed sneakers, gray slacks,
a dull blue windbreaker.
He at one point employed
a handkerchief to his nose.

Beyond that he engaged
in no discerning action.
And yet the expression
on his face of utter joy
when the team he was pulling for
pulled out a victory!
To see his face at that instant
was to see pure beauty,
a beauty transcending
the ripped, sleek athletes
whose physiques of prowess
glittered sweating

beyond the finish line,
a face of a life
of anonymity and defeat
at the moment of victory
expressing immortal fame.

Philip Kuepper
(20 September 2013)

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