We have replaced the perishable wreaths
with bags of gold,
and with shining medals,
and plates and cups of silver and crystal.
These reflect loudly the applied light,
demanding to be polished
as they slowly capture dust
on shelves and in glass cases.
The heroes of field, track and arena
are lauded and celebrated;
while celebrity becomes their greatest achievement.
Yet this too will pass
the ephemeral silverware and all the rest;
even the undimmed glow of the gold
will one day lie forgotten,
beneath earth’s dust.
Empty, and yet abundant,
profoundly connected, deeply alone.
Torn and bleeding,
humble, hoping, defiant,
having nothing to do
with honours and earthly reward;
for all who compete
this imperishable wreath.