Losers by Carl Sandburg
IF I should pass the tomb of Jonah
I would stop there and sit for awhile;
Because I was swallowed one time deep in the dark
And came out alive after all.
If I pass the burial spot of Nero
I shall say to the wind, â€œWell, well!â€â€”
I who have fiddled in a world on fire,
I who have done so many stunts not worth doing.
I am looking for the grave of Sinbad too.
I want to shake his ghost-hand and say,
â€œNeither of us died very early, did we?â€
And the last sleeping-place of Nebuchadnezzarâ€”
When I arrive there I shall tell the wind:
â€œYou ate grass; I have eaten crowâ€”
Who is better off now or next year?â€
Jack Cade, John Brown, Jesse James,
There too I could sit down and stop for awhile.
I think I could tell their headstones:
â€œGod, let me remember all good losers.â€
I could ask people to throw ashes on their heads
In the name of that sergeant at Belleau Woods,
Walking into the drumfires, calling his men,
â€œCome on, you â€¦ Do you want to live forever?â€