TUESDAY: Coach

BY CHRISTOPHER WOODS

Copyright is held by the author.

Leaving the field house
He crosses memory’s sphere,
Counts the dull cleat marks
Plowed in the green turf.
It’s raining, but he strikes out
Across the echoes of soccer,
Listens to faint cheers from bleachers
Filled with the ghosts of pom-poms.

It’s come to this,
But his streak has been long coming,
Begun back at a small prairie school
And continuing, school by school
In a downward spiral
He migrated by seasons,
None a championship.

The woman he wanted to keep barefoot
Left him several schools ago.
A letter from her today
Incited this walk with phantoms
Reeking of ointments and sweat,
Whispering jockdom shower curses.
She says she’s happy, remarried,
This time she swears
To a man who actually grew up.
No small feat in America, she taunts.
She scores her points between the lines.

The dampness hurts his bad knee, makes him limp.
He believes all injuries are made worse by weather.
But he struggles on, garbed in school colors,
Passes beneath goal posts
That frame him like a photograph.

5 comments

  1. A Hannah

    I enjoyed this. Sad for the main character. I can visualize it all even before the frame which is awesome.

  2. Tya Colby

    I LOVED what you did here. I could feel the emotion as the man looked at his past life and where it had come too. And I have to admit I loved the effect his ex-wife’s letter had on him. The imagery is amazing — love your use of words to tie emotions and images together. I actually read it over three times to take it all in.

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