In its March issue a couple years ago, Harper's Magazine reported that an advertising agency hired by the shoe manufacturer Nike sent out a request for poems to be used in commercials for the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. How inspired! We know we're a little bit late, but we just couldn't resist trying our hand at a few lines of devotional verse. Perhaps Nike will see its way through to using these in a new campaign. Here goes!

Team Players

A small price to pay,
to be part of such a cause,
we will abandon Ho Chi Minh
to do our part,
to support this sacred quest.
Really, it's embarrassing to be paid at all,
but if you insist . . .

How generous, our C.E.O.,
to lend the name of our company
to these selfless heroes,
his compassion so foreign.

Family, friends, must be left behind
to join this monastery of labor.
But hunger and thirst are forgotten
as we penitently obey
the command of Our Father:
Just Sew It.

The line is in sight,
although others stand in my way,
O Nike, goddess of victory,
I have made my sacrifice to you
of $149.99 plus tax.
With the aid of your wings at my feet,
I swoosh past my foes,
their faces red,
their legs lead,
I am ahead.
Their training means nothing.
I have the tread.

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