Poem – Hero or Zero (By Ray Gallucci)



To die on the battlefield leading a charge,

Your body upon a shield, burned in a barge –

An image heroic of Viking portrayal

Approvingly stoic, quite worthy of hail.


The fireman rushing pall-mall into blaze

As on 9-11, the last of his days.

No body recovered from building’s collapse.

Just wife, children, mother to hear final “Taps.”


The next Roger Clemens, McGwire or Bonds,

Usurping the records of whom we were fond.

Their Hall of Fame triumphs null-void in a flash

For, rather than push-ups, chose steroids for cash.


For each defrocked Armstrong are many unsung

Who died without song or a bell to be rung.

They don’t disillusion – on them can rely.

Pursue no collusion for piece of the pie.


As child you admire your sports’ famous star,

But older and wiser, learn just what they are.

Mere fallible humans of no special deal

As realize just who are the heroes for real.


About Ray Gallucci: I am a Professional Engineer who has been writing poetry since 1990. I am an incorrigible rhymer, tending toward the skeptical/cynical regarding daily life. I have been fortunate to have been published in poetry magazines and on-line journals such as NUTHOUSE, MOTHER EARTH INTERNATIONAL, FEELINGS/POETS’ PAPER, MÖBIUS (when Jean Hull Herman published), PABLO LENNIS, MUSE OF FIRE, SO YOUNG!, THE AARDVARK ADVENTURER, POETIC LICENSE, THUMBPRINTS, UNLIKELY STORIES, BIBLIOPHILOS, FULLOSIA PRESS, NOMAD’S CHOIR, HIDDEN OAK, PABLO LENNIS, POETSESPRESSO, SOUL FOUNTAIN, WRITER’S JOURNAL, ATLANTIC PACIFIC PRESS, DERONDA REVIEW, LYRIC, THE STORYTELLER, WRITE ON! and DANA LITERARY SOCIETY.