John F. McCullagh

(09/28/1954 / Flushing)

Play On


For Forty years he’d played and coached
and referred the game.
Now Alzheimer’s stolen
nearly all except his name.
With his past now dis-remembered
and all hope of a future gone
what else was there left to him
except to just play on.
The pickup game he’d played for years
Became his sole relief
He played with men he once knew well
before he met time’s thief.
You see him running on the pitch
with purpose, or with none.
And if he goes off sides at times
his friends say no harm done.
Like a child, he chases balls.
His scoring touch is gone.
Yet, in the moment, he finds joy
And so he just plays on.

Submitted: Sunday, November 10, 2013
Edited: Monday, November 11, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

based on a Sports Illustrated article by Phil Taylor in the November issue

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