A Timely Poem

Although I have traveled far and wide, I am never far from the Monongahela Valley. I am a second-generation American; the Old Countries are never far from me. The wood, and hills, rivers and “cricks” have given me an appreciation for nature.
Normally I avoid current events in my poetry. Anyhting I mention is well after the fact, and usually indirect. But several things converged today, and while I was working out at the gym, saw somehting on CNN that put this on my heart.

I was fortunate to have seen Clemente play at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, and then at Connie Mack after he moved near Philadelphia. Off field he was also tremendous, and I mourn him each New Year's Day.
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When the earth shook in Nicaragua
Roberto Clemente cancelled his plans
and intended to assure that aid would
not be denied to destitute people.
With cargo incorrectly-loaded, his
plane crashed off the coast of his beloved
island, becoming his watery grave.

What millionaire athlete flies to San Juan
or elsewhere on that shattered, sad island?
A barrage of tweets from private gold club
belittles the island and her people.

Arthur Turfa, ©2017