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叶安灵 // 16, 2022 // she-her-hers
hey hey

Message to Readers

this is written in first person, but i wouldn't say it's actually about me. i've been wanting to submit to poetry competitions, but i can't seem to plant my feet down on a concept.

the draft, the drifting

August 19, 2020


i grew up watching american football,
that game where big wide guys cuddle and squeeze
in pursuit of a brown ball.
my baba used to tell me it was dangerous, it took skill
but all i could see was frantic, desperate hugging.

i know a lot about needing a good hug.
spinning like a spiral, a flea flicker of light and hope every time
i threw myself around the way eli manning made a play
and in the end
i was sacked
and incomplete.

i got older,
lost track of time and stopped joining my dad on the couch.
in the way that players get traded
and some leave the league
i had lost interest in what i once called my family.

you know, girls don’t have any business in football
i couldn’t understand it if i tried
because i’d talk about it, shining
and i’d get asked to list the giants’ roster
starting from 1975.
so i gave up on looking for hugs
along that route.

well, the girls don’t like me either
as i learned that i’m aggressive and decisive
and i am quick to change my plans
if this were the nfl combine i think those would be good things
but in high school it is tragic.

when you’re a free agent you have options
but you also sit on the edge.
you could sign now or
you could wait it out
but in the end
you’re just asking to play.

i guess i switched positions,
from one of the huggers to the guy who ran
and ran and ran and ran
to the endzone
but i wasn’t on the field.

i am instead on the road
tracing circles, breathing heavy
to the beat of some new song
that i don’t particularly like
i am just looking for reasons to hate football.

every night when i get back home
i see baba on the couch
we lock eyes, i think he’s nervous about it
and he beckons me to sit down.

i think on it.
and usually i walk away.
but i think today, just for this game,
i will abandon the playbook.
*this uses some football terminology, but i hope it's not super confusing.


See History
  • August 19, 2020 - 8:22pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Anne Blackwood

    Replying: *blushes* ^u^

    3 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Don't worry this makes perfect sense (even to someone who knows nOtHiNg about football). I really like this piece!

    3 months ago