Requiem 21

by    /  September 15, 2020  / Comments Off on Requiem 21

for Roberto Clemente
by Lindsay Surmacz

Bobby, you thrived in the heat.
From thick fields of sugarcane to the back of the bus,
you played the game with San Juan on your shoulders.
A prince in a pauper, you fought for your home.

So when you stand on the shore of your life
and the water rolls over your feet,
remember it flows from the island that bore you,
that honors you, its favorite son.
Arriba, my hero!

Your strength is what made you The Great One.
Not the might that scarred the sky three thousand times,
but the will that forged broomsticks and soup cans
into silver scepters and golden gloves.

So when you stand on the shore of your life
and the jewels wash into your hands,
remember they fill the fists of those who have earned them,
whose gratitude snuffs out the greed.
Arriba, my hero!

This watery vault holds your ultimate sacrifice.
But, Bobby, be glad. It was not made in vain.
That day in December was when your sons learned
how a man becomes his own monument.

So when we stand on the shore of your death
and the candles float out on the waves,
remember they burn not for the lives you could not save
but for those who you taught to live.
Arriba, my hero!

Lindsay Surmacz is a resident of Mt. Lebanon. She wanted to be many things when she grew up including a writer. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from Purdue University where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Nowadays, she considers herself part artist, part mad scientist, and a staunch proponent of STEAM Education

City of Asylum believes that All Pittsburghers are Poets. With the Poem of the Week series, we seek to increase the readership and appreciation of poetry locally by publishing poems written by residents of Allegheny County of all ages and levels of experience. In partnership with the Poetry Editors at Sampsonia Way Magazine, City of Asylum advances our mission to defend, celebrate, and build on creative freedom of expression. This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).

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