Glad

In the glory of the gloaming-green soccer
field her team, the Gladiators, is losing

ten to zip. She never loses interest in
the roughhouse one-on-one that comes

every half a minute. She sticks her leg
in danger and comes out the other side running.

Later a clump of opponents on the street is chant-
ing, WE WON, WE WON, WE . . . She stands up

on the convertible seat holding to the wind-   
shield. WE LOST, WE LOST BIGTIME, TEN TO

NOTHING, WE LOST, WE LOST. Fist pumping
air. The other team quiet, abashed, chastened.

Good losers don't laugh last; they laugh
continuously, all the way home so glad.

Poem copyright ©2001 by Coleman Barks, from his most recent book of poems, Winter Sky: New and Selected Poems, 1968-2008, University of Georgia Press, 2008, and reprinted by permission of Coleman Barks and the publisher.