Soccer Player from Lawn
I read his story
from a distance in a newspaper,
waiting for supper to cook.
A picture of a young man, defiant stare and a head full of hair.
A true lover of sport -- more often in cleats than shoes.
Sweat and dirt and the odd time a smashed nose.
Running and rollin on the pitch --
he was alive.
Beneath his skin an army rolled
crossin interior borders where blood and tissue make Man.
Multiplying and dividing to conquer,
it blitzkrieged thru.
Scientists and doctors detailed the offensive radiation strategy.
He took the news with expected shoulder shrugs and sports cliches
he said "don't count me out"/"this is my greatest challenge"
i wished him the best as i ate my supper
his picture a year later -- the same picture
headlined by the loss.
My stomach inside a white-knuckled fist.
i did not know him
but i see Us reading his story and cheering wildly
as nations once did in the great wars
unsure and afraid for the future.
Poems © 1998 Francis Patrick Molloy, all rights reserved
appear here by permission