The Agony Of Defeat


The Agony of Defeat
I ask him
what happens when the Super G competitors
wipe out as they are winding their way
making hairpin turns, carving the
ice and snow like a man takes
a new Gillette razor to the side of
his square jaw line
carving carefully to avoid a
ripping of flesh, a tearing of skin
avoiding blood at all costs

one wrong move
tactically taken
down the Russian mountainside

and pride and ego
land in the soft snow off to the side
spine and bone and muscle
in tact or broken
like the dream
bruised and busted up

we children of the sixties remember

we recall the Saturday slogan on TV
the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat

I scream at the screen
as the athletics
dissolve into a pile
a medal-less mess

and I want grace extended and do overs and second chances
for every last one

oh but that we would
extend it
the comforting caress
of the Spirit
Blow the winds of Mercy
Comfort a suffering saint

these elements of blood and grace and death and life
the Spirit’s there
at the moment of impact
always wiping the skinned knee
of his child
lying in a mangled heap
frozen by fear and disgrace

the agony of defeat
loss and pain
sadness and disappointment
roll down the cheek, by-product
of defeat
like an avalanche

He who makes us white
As snow
He makes it new

Comforted in loss

Raising us up
from dejection
and defeat

I cover my eyes
Like a child
Look away
So much to bear

I tell him it’s the stories I love

Of the overcoming ones
The get-back-up-again ones

Tell me your story
Of mountaintops and mountainsides
Of trudging in the valley
Of defeat
And I’ll tell mine

The thrill of victory
Battle cry of those who
Break the seal on the package of grace

and at all costs
run into the arms
of a Carpenter
whose flesh was ripped
skin was torn
whose blood was shed

We look into His eyes

The agony of defeat.


Joining Laura Boggess at Laura Boggess dot com for Playdates At The Wellspring & Jennifer Dukes Lee for #tellhisstory

5 thoughts on “The Agony Of Defeat

  1. Wonderful poem! I too, scream at the t.v.. I also find myself praying for the athletes, only to remind myself that, this time, it is all prerecorded, the results already done. I still pray for them. Great post today, thank you.

  2. Oh my goodness, such beautiful words. Being an Olympic FAN-atic and child of the 60’s, I loved the images you invoked. Yes, it is the ultimate defeat which saves us. I’m visiting here from #TellHisStory.

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