Ol’ Number 7

Micky Mantle took a called third strike,
drank decades away into a transplant
while Butkus simply hobbles in and out
of the transparent consciousness  of the tube.
 
The hearts of the old Celtic men failed them;
Bird, McCale and the Chief.
The Magic man waits his time,
and O.J. what to say about O.J.
 
Great gods of men wither;
the fruit lay rotting off the ground
falling from the twig traumas of each day.
 
Lesser men, some mere mortal,
may falter in the face of the failures
of heroes,
but we step on.
 
Sometimes bitter, troubled, wound tighter
than the laces on a Montana spiral.
 
We step on.
What else can we do?