Young men grown old, now dead, parade
Across the hotel TV screen,
Throwing footballs, catching footballs,
Bellowing at their opponents,
Celebrating with their teammates,
Gesticulating to their fans
To roar louder, to exhort them,
But not to beg them to survive.
Under each clip, whether grainy
Duplicate of old film footage
Or garish wash of video,
Run the tombstone years, birth dash death.
Enough of these, it dawns on me,
Though they were not true warriors,
To put it euphemistically,
Came quickly to grave nonetheless.
They died to their sport, then their fame,
Then their ability to move,
And at last, young to the world,
Ghosts to their own names, they left.