Happy Birthday Ryer. You'd have been 25 today had you lived. There is not one of us motherfuckers that doesn't think about you every day.
I slap my buddy on the back of the head. "We got everyone here. Let's get everyone to do a shot of Jagermeister."
"It's for Ryer's birthday dickhead. Get your money out."
He looks at me, then looks down. "Yea. Good call. Let's get a collection."
Ten minutes later I'm standing on the barstool, handing back fifteen shots of Jagermeister. "Alright lads. For the barroom hero who is no longer with us. We'll see you in hell brother."
To An Athlete Dying Young
THE time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come, 5
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay, 10
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers 15
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man. 20
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head 25
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.