20 January 2013

To an Athlete Lying Young

From A Shropshire Aunt*
The times you won the Tour de France,
We fanned the fire of your pants;
Man and boy heard you deny
The dope that brought you victor-y.

To-day the road your girlfriend came —
Though you’d not Google once her name
To find she neither lived nor died —
Will not permit your face to hide.

Smart lad, to put the truth away
From fields where myth holds greater sway!
For brightly though the laurel grows,
It’s slower than a puppet’s nose.
Those wars and murders, poisoned air,
Rough politics: we do not care!
Of you alone the public chatters,
Instead of weighty, vital matters!

So smile, before the spotlights fade,
And don the mantle that you’ve made!
O’erwhelm the papers! Command the news!
Consent to countless interviews!

Endure the late-night comic’s joke,
Until to Oprah you have spoke!
Forget that once you played a sport —
You’re on the nightly news report!

And though your honor is the cost,
Take heart, stout lad! All is not lost!
Just contemplate the question cruel:
Was’t you or we the bigger fool?

*NOTE: An obscure but terribly pertinent reference of which I am exceedingly proud. Check The Importance of Being Earnest if you don’t believe me.


John Yohalem said...

And I once armstrong'd all over Shropshire...

William V. Madison said...

Thank you!

(But how can we be sure you're telling the truth about your armstronging experiences?)