The Bronze God

The whole thing about Roberto
Clemente is that he
was an infant when his
sister died in a
cooking fire.
Sensing his parents'
melancholy, Roberto was
propelled to "set things
right" throughout his
life. Which wasn't
long. That's why he
carried an accordian file
full of letters
from city to city.
While on the road,
he would stop
and visit needy
people in hospitals
and the like.

It's hard to
imagine a super-
jock doing that,
seems kind of
nerdy, but he
did it.

He had a private, interior
life that brooked no

That's why he boarded
a rickety plane bound
for Nicaragua, laden
with supplies.

He wanted to make
things right.

They never discovered
his body after the
plane crashed in
the sea.

Maybe it was
pulverized on
impact. Maybe a
shark got it.

It doesn't matter.

Like a god in the
Metamorphoses, he
was transported
into air and

Into life.

The Bronze God was a finalist in the 2010 poetry contest sponsored by SLAB Literary Journal.