Friday, July 26, 2013

It's Only a Game

A poem I wrote in 2008.  I know, I'm a man of many talents...

It’s only a game

Sweat runs down a tired and bloody face
The coach sends the signal in “40 base”
The defense aligns on the offense ready to go
The outcome of the play they do not know
The offense has been pounding the ball all day
But as coach says…”we must find a way”
As in life you must find the answer to your questions
And do so without doubt or hesitation
For when the ball is snapped and the play is run
It is now your turn to go and get the job done
To make the tackle and stop the play for no gain
Seizing the moment, regardless the strain
This burden you bear on a Friday night in the fall
Will make the difference in success or none at all
Someday a similar opportunity will come within your grasp
Will you remember this time and be up to the task?
The crowd noise disappears and your mother’s voice booms
“Do your best” you hear as toward the ball carrier you zoom
“Don’t be uptight” again you hear your mother say
But you are tense as you run along your way
He’s squaring his shoulders to run to the alley
If I could only run faster, I wouldn’t need to hurry
But he is good and one of the best you’ve faced
He’s rounding the corner at a feverish pace
He’s done it all night, and done it so well
It would be so easy to give up and never live to tell
Your mom wouldn’t be mad she would understand
But you know in your heart the opportunity is at hand
To make a difference, to make an impact
By tackling the often elusive scat back
All week long you’ve heard how good he was
You’ve seen all night how quickly his feet buzz
As he’s cut and darted and dashed around
You know if you fail it will be all over town
You know this is the chance to make a play
And as in life coach says “you better seize the day”
For opportunities only come along once in a while
If you miss them, you can only look back with a smile
And say I could have or I should have as those have before
And never know success or hear the crowd roar
The time is getting near, the back getting nearer and nearer
Mom’s voice comes in but you don’t want to hear her
“Your coach is too serious, it’s a game played by boys”
The crowd disappears and your breathing is the only noise
You hear his breathing now as he is upon you
Eye to eye with this terrorist in pads
When he is tackled you will certainly be glad
At the very last moment you see you don’t have the angle
And in a last ditch effort you dive at his ankles
Only to see him hurdle you and gallop to victory
Could someone tell me where is the free safety?
He is now cheering with his teammates
You are wishing it was you who could celebrate
But he saw the opportunity and he seized the date
Starting in the summer with lifting weights
He beat you months earlier when you were out on a date
He was lifting, working, and preparing for this moment
Because he feared losing, having victory stolen
That is why you failed to win the game you desire
He was better than you, had more competitive fire
As you watch him run down the field
Hearing the crowd moan groan and squeal
You’re hoping somehow it would be a dream
But you hear through the noise your mom’s voice beam
“You did your best and shouldn’t be ashamed…
…remember son, it’s only a game”.