Today is the final day of NaPo (and of April). Beginning tomorrow (and for May), I plan to read as many NaPo poems done by others as possible. Thus, my posts will slack off a bit.
The month of May has us doing family things, routine medical visits, and a five-day jaunt into the wilds of west Texas (family stuff) for Mother’s Day which is also Julie’s BD this year. It’s a bit special because she was born on Mother’s Day.
May also has Armed Forces Day (20th), our 57th wedding anniversary (27th), an in-person gathering of my writing group, and Memorial Day (29th). That last one is the unofficial threshold of Summer, but also when I try to remind folks that it is about remembrance of the dead.
Todays assigned prompt is to write a palinode, which is a poem written to retract a view or sentiment expressed in an earlier poem. I poked fun at football with my first 2023 NaPo poem “Not Only Texas.” To contradict that sentiment, I wrote this poem.
To Be Fair—
Many years ago, as we stood side-by-side on Kyle Field, Billy bluntly said, “Maybe I should have played this game.”
To be fair, or perhaps to favor American football; where dreams are made, others dashed; boys become strong, others injured, sometimes both; it’s our game. Canadians play a little differently. We try to interest Mexicans, Europeans, and the world. Where they call soccer, football.
Football mixes institutions: education, entertainment, music, religion, and groups of civic pride into the practice of honoring people and a game and raising hype to a positive practice. Who knows, maybe God does care who is good, big, fast, skilled, and who wins? About whom prays best?
Life has daily challenges, and who am I to say what the best way is to learn, to survive, to win?
After all, I, too, wanted to score the winning touchdown on Friday night. The Band of big and little Brothers, of life and death, and still—win we will— “The Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps” – and we watched, as the band marched and played on, and on so well.
Look both ways to see the good and the bad, the ups and the downs.
Mind the gaps, the clips, and the traps.
And whatever your game, do it as well as you can.
The phrase “The Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps” is from Gen Douglas MacArthur’s Duty, Honor, Country speech at West Point, N.Y., May 12, 1962.
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