In the Game

The bench is hard, the game is on. Except for me, that is. I’m riding pine again. “Left out” is the position I usually play. I run the sprints in practice, hard. I do the drills, practice free throws. I have friends and family in the stands staring at me…ME, the failure.

The family of Billy the cheetah visited him one day in the zoo. They came to ask questions:

“Billy, you’re a runner, why are you in here?”

“Billy, we are all made to sprint sixty-five miles an hour for three hundred yards and you were caught by a portly middle-aged women who tops out at nine miles an hour…why?

“Billy, how come Chip, who was with you, is out there now bringing down supper? How did you get caught and he didn’t?”

“Billy, can you finish school like this?”

The game continues. Two minutes left. I have numb bench-butt.

“Billy, go in for Chip!” The coach is leaning forward in his chair…looking at me…


Dear God! Not me! They might pass me the ball! Oh no! 


How can I look back with any joy?
It must be placed onto the canvas
of where I am…grinding, straining
Glory gone
blown swiftly away
brushed off the trail, some old woman with a broom
mindlessly doing her job
Faith seemed to arrive slowly
and very unnoticed
like water seeping into a stone, smoothing
I didn’t notice
Thousands of pounds of grain came from me
into the mouths of the ungrateful…but I was carved
Then I was suddenly awake
when they placed
one hand on one pillar
one hand on another