.

Last Place Winner

after winning the 30-34 age group with a
last-place finish in a 5K

Inhaling frozen oxygen, he rounds
The final turn. No cheers, just muffled sounds.
He barely wobbles ‘cross the finish line
And checks the lit-up numbers on the sign.
Nobody else is coming, there stand the rest.
Yet upward turns his smile—personal best!
He laughs as he receives his age-group gold.
True vict’ry for the one who faced the cold.

.

.

Guy Warner is a pastor in Birmingham, AL. He received his M.Div. from Liberty University. His other poetry can be found on SometimesPoetry.org.


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9 Responses

  1. Jeremiah Johnson

    Guy, I love the down to earthness of this one. The kind of thing I like to write about: Not too lofty, and yet the events of our lives are lofty, in a sense, in themselves, as we are fashioned in the “Imago Dei”

    Reply
    • Guy Warner

      Thank you, we are indeed made in God’s image. Effort, struggle, sacrifice and courage matter, even if no one cheers our name. He sees, the ones we love see, and we ourselves see. And that should be enough for us.

      Reply
  2. Roy E. Peterson

    Even completing the race would be a personal win for me! Congratulations to whomever ran the race, but especially to the one who had the chutzpah to come in last yet still win a trophy. Not, by the way, just a participation trophy, but competing and finishing. Who is to say he would not have beaten out others in his age group!

    Reply
    • Guy Warner

      It was a VERY cold day, and only seven people showed up to race! I was pretty outclassed by the others, but sometimes showing up and going for it is all it takes.

      Reply
  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    What more could one want than to achieve their ‘personal best’? Congratulations on the victory and the poetry! Thoroughly enjoyable and very well written.

    Reply
  4. Cheryl Corey

    This was one individual race, but in life as well, you have to run your own race and just do your very best.

    Reply
    • Guy Warner

      That’s right! And much of the contest is simply showing up and going for it. Most would rather sit back and scoff at the runners, sure they would do better if they could be bothered to try. But even one who is less deserving will walk home with the prize if he has the guts to actually step up and compete.

      Reply

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