Collect for the Games

Collect for the Games

God who has never asked anyone
how do you feel your first time losing
since you were fifteen?
who whispers “bravissimo” to the Italian
in last place in the four hundred,
who holds in light the beauty
of the Japanese gymnast’s form
and does not replay his terrible fall,

celebrate with your Olympic angels
the speed and grace and strength
and commitment and joy
of this Thames-rush
of the athletes of the world

and teach us all to understand
that competere means to “seek together”

so that we might run the races
and dance the good fights
of these glorious bodies – young and old,
weak and strong, flexible and … rooted,

all special, all meant to finish
your holy course. Amen

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