The Rower, Contemplative

The Rower, Contemplative

Defeat had soured him,
his belly full of the emptiness
of what could have been
had the race gone his way.

He thought ugly
thoughts about the victors,
thought thoughts of sabotage,
practice time cut in half
because their oars had gone

missing, missing
like victory from his grasp.
He swallowed whole the hard
fact he had been
eliminated, a fact

that made even fuller
with emptiness his belly.
He would sleep on the pillow of hate.
Come morning he would begin
to work off the fat of defeat.

Philip Kuepper
(8 July, 2013)

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