Poems of the Week

Masters Class

by Brendan Beary

(after Kipling)

“Sergio Garcia hits five balls into water, cards record-setting 13 at the Masters”—OregonLive.com

If you can keep your head when all about you
Have watched your every shot go in the drink
Till even ardent fans begin to doubt you;
If you can stare at failure and not blink;
If you can face Misfortune running riot
And mocking your attempts to stand your ground
As cheering falls away to awkward quiet,
But stay composed, and finish out your round:

If you, returning champ, can be so humbled,
And last year’s trophy gives no shelter now,
Yet persevere—no matter how you’ve stumbled—
As best your irons and mettle will allow;
If you can bear humiliation’s stinging,
And sign your card, and own the sad misdeed,
Yet, with tomorrow’s sunrise, come back swinging,
Play on—you’ve all the balls you’ll ever need.