Poetry for Superbowl Sunday

Evening Practice  (excerpt)—  D. Nurkse
… I ran out
to savor the dregs of dusk
playing with my friends
in the road that led to the highway.
The ball flew up toward day
and landed in night. …

Superbowl Sunday (excerpts)  —  G Doktor
… screaming in joy, not pain
Believing in a team
That can take us all the way
To this season’s big game

… Losing our own contest is final
Just for today we take a break
Watch others rush-grunt-sweat

Carried to this impossible place
By someone else’s
Strong bodies, large hearts
Transported to a transcendence

Different than our own
Though we too risk everything
Put it all on the line
Hold nothing back

… we don’t say out loud
To fail the final goal
Isn’t an option
Though it could happen

We show up, day by day,
Try over and over
Lay plans to win against all odds
Though truthfully we know it’s enough
To play at all

Wide Receiver — Mark Halliday
In the huddle you said “Go long—get open”
and at the snap I took off along the right sideline
and then cut across left in a long arc
and I’m sure I was open at several points—
glancing back I saw you pump-fake more than once
but you must not have been satisfied with what you saw downfield
and then I got bumped off course and my hands touched the turf
but I regained my balance and dashed back to the right
I think or maybe first left and then right
and I definitely got open but the throw never came—
maybe you thought I couldn’t hang on to a ball flung so far
or maybe you actually can’t throw so far
but in any case I feel quite open now,
the defenders don’t seem too interested in me
I sense only open air all around me
though the air is getting darker and it would appear
by now we’re well into the fourth quarter
and I strongly doubt we can afford to settle for
dinky little first downs if the score is what I think it is
so come on, star boy, fling a Hail Mary
with a dream-coached combination of muscle and faith
and I will gauge the arc and I will not be stupidly frantic
and I will time my jump and—I’m just going to say
in the cool gloaming of this weirdly long game
it is not impossible that I will make the catch.

Beautiful Game (excerpt) — Sharon Wilkie-Jones
… Of the game that called for disciples
And chose Saints to preach its gospels
And sinners to bear witness to its
Open heart and closed hand
This football life
Tumbling through the looking glass at the end
Of the rainbow
Moving into hearts with the effortless
Ease of night slipping into day
Its atmosphere alive with the thudding pulse
The rising pant of expectation
Stepping out of textbooks and history books
Into a kaleidoscope of noise and celebration
Where leather caseys parcelled in mud
And sweat and blood and philosophy and pain
Can still grace a sky whilst beneath sit the faithful
And the fortunate
As hope waits with its pockets stuffed
With bitten nails
This football life
A game to break your heart …
And then
… To fall in love
And again
And again…


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