Youthful Champion

By Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Happiest is the name of this room.
Little feet marked where the dust
surrounded a statue that is taken from its perch.

Picking up a vaunted trophy is a thrill
and so depressing
for what you were back in the day was prolific.

Awards and ribbons mark another ‘best day ever’
which elbow over that first-effort ceramic doorstop
among the many other objects left here alone in your old room.

A treasure trove of commemorations of team stridings,
and tournaments and completions,
all with identifiers trumpeting honor and praise.

Although, taken as a whole
this den, this parental altar, is just a tomb of clutter
with a smattering of gems spotlighting a most dedicated youngster.

What was your story?
I never saw this focused go-getter
whose efforts to compete against the mob got noticed.

I only ever knew you as introspective but helpful,
and hopeful but worried, and quiet but supportive.
Your “daring”  was putting two meats on one pizza.

Thanks to your mother, I was allowed to stroll through this vault of sparkle,
and I got to know the boy who bounded with life
and who brashly displayed his winnings that are now buried in dust.

In here, you live again among the triumphs of perseverance,
and among the laurels for strength and practice.
I would have looked up to you even then.

When your children are old enough to ask me what I knew about you,
I will surely tell them of the conquests of your youth, and your first victories,
 and how you were my Champion, too, of good deeds and friendship and caring.

Copyright © 1960-2016 Lawrence J. J. Leonard  All rights reserved

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