Posts Tagged ‘Pigskin’

This is also from 2003. A pigskin is another name for a football. I believe I was trying to write this from the viewpoint of the football and everything that it had witnessed during a season of youth football. However by the end of the poem, the vantage point becomes rather blurred as the focus becomes a man who can no longer coach in the league.  I was part of the board that had to tell him he could not return the following season. I read this during the banquet that year.

I’m just a pigskin
not thin-skinned
but straight laced and oblong

I journey deep down field
and into the cusp of the hyper bowl
that you call your own

I’m elliptical
if you care to know why
I’m not in the place
where you thought I might land

You have no idea what I see
as they scurry back to the huddle
to await my measured spot

Or how their faces glower
from the middle of the pile

Or how they grimace with pleasure
like crusaders
in celebration of being rash

And you have no idea what they say
and how they taunt
and how they bawl
as they pick each other off the turf
like moist lint
trapped
on the screen

Those demented little hogs
hold me
like a floatation device
while they tread mud and drown
in their own sloppy delight

Then one little player
cannot find
his father
because he is too busy
to be bothered
with a field
with a cell phone
with a chance
to just play
or watch

I’m just a pigskin
and I cannot begin to explain
why I am here

But I like the hands as they grab
and the arms as they stretch
and the legs as they gallop
like an infant lying on his back

And his mother remembers
what is was like to cuddle
her little boy
as she holds herself back
from the mud pit

I am just a pigskin
passing through here
like a postcard
or a postscript

I am a segment
of your memory
the photos that stay locked
inside
of your upper stories

There’s a coach staring
empty
past his car
arms across his chest
different from the rest

He’s weeping inside
saying goodbye
to his game plan
as the sun rudely sketches
the rough lines on his face

I am just a pigskin
but I too weep when I am sad
and I scream red and I bleed
when I am hurt

And I lose sleep and I toss and I turn
end over end
and I yearn and I yearn
and I yearn
for that coach to know
that he’s still a friend
and that I will miss him

I’m just a pigskin
if that’s what you think
if that’s
what you think

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