'It's Only A Game'
9 am Saturday morning, the players in their warm-up stance,
Ready for the moment that the whistle blows,
And they begin their seasonal dance.
Me, on the sidelines, my camera at the ready,
Stacked with way too much glass.
The Quarterback recites his audible, the Center hikes the ball,
My camera pans his every move,
My lens captures it all.
“Zoom! Snap! Snap! ” The perfect pass,
Spiral poetry in motion, the ball spins through the air,
“Zoom! Snap! Snap! ” The intended receiver’s outreached hands,
His body leaves the ground, nothing else matters but catching the ball,
His concentration perfect, the fact that he’ll be pummeled-
never enters his mind- No, not all.
He doesn’t even see it…no, he doesn’t even care,
The perfect pass, the perfect catch, as he brings the target to his chest.
“Zoom! Snap! Snap! ” The perfect shot,
Capturing the moment, football at it’s best.
Then the tackle, and one by one- they all pile on.
“Zoom! Snap! Snap! ” was blurred by the liquid crunch-
A sound dreaded by all, silenced the crowd to their feet,
Players, one and all…dropped immediately to their knees-
Breaths were held, the moment stilled everyone’s heartbeat.
The guilt felt by all the parents, as one thought entered our minds,
Please Lord, not my boy, let it be an opponent player this time.
And as the coaches and trainers rushed out to the injured lad,
First responders were called to the scene,
It became clear to use all what the Game really means.
It’s for fun, it’s for sport, competition’s best ingredient,
The athlete’s a hero in all our eyes,
And the meaning of the Game, became less important, as that was no surprise.
For it’s only a Game, no more than that,
And when they took him away, a broken arm was his badge,
The crowd clapped and whistled and all came to their feet,
Paying homage to a hero, to the ultimate athlete.
I pressed the display button on my camera, the image up-close and clear,
That boy’s broken body, my God, I couldn’t suppress my tears.
I pushed another button, and it asked if I was sure…
Without hesitation, I pressed again…
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
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