Ode to the Athlete

Ode to the Athlete

Ode to the Athlete

            For my son with a nod to Pindar


Blessed is the boy. Grown tall long

before he’d grown up. Gifted boy,

an unexpected gift. The surprise

of an old soul born easily,

early to parents snared in life’s

tragedy. He held fast at first.


Fingers tightly gripped my skirt.

His stories whispered in my ear

alone. Soon, the boy’s dreams took flight.

His walk, a run. His jump, a leap.

Phrikias of the pre-school set.

Winged feet like Mercury,


he dashed to victory. To best

the boys race after race. His pace quick.

Each year, his share of prizes.

Then felled by injury one day,

wings singed, spirit smoldering,

the boy’s mind collected his power.


He took gods’ design, made it sweet,

a new beginning for a boy

now becoming a man. His hands

guide his imagination’s strength,

reasoning. This race runs faster

at thought’s speed. His competition


labors in the city’s towers—

lit up at night like captive stars.

He knows the race of men, of gods,

that both breathe life from one mother.


Heidi Seaborn

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