Yesterday, I muffed the first day’s poem of the NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) challenge because I did not write mine. I was too busy, then I was too tired. My driveling twaddle needs no other obstacles.
But we may play catch-up in this 30-day challenge. It’s 30 poems in 30 days, not necessarily one each day. But that does mean I may/will post two or three times (if I do the Sammi thingy) today. That’s a normal week’s worth for me.
I write to the prompts given at napowrimo.net. Yesterday’s poem was to be based upon a book cover. I recently bought Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, by H. G. Bissinger. I wrote a poem inspired by the jacket cover (photos by Rob Clark, Jr./Jacket design by Paul Bacon). Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., publishers.
Not Only Texas
Three darkly clad gladiators of the eventual eleven,
and march together
into the night, onto the place where town heroes are made for life,
where cheers and tears are looked forward to—
all year long, where football is not only king,
but the guiding force called team, spelled without an “I”
(one of many lies) that makes boys gods whose Gods can’t help them.
It’s like a religion, but it’s not the same.
These minor gods are transient. Heaven is winning a game.
The game gives them reason. The stadium,
their fields, like churches with gridiron pews
and endzones as altars with goalpost frames.
Hymns are cheers from stands
led by beautifully clad encouragement,
perchance a mascot,
yelling is encouraged raucousness. Defeat is deeply felt.
It’s serious business, American football.
But in the black-and-white towns of Texas with teams,
are set in shaded darkness under the illumination
of Friday night lights after rallies, the breaking
of barriers, of illegal prayers to Jesus Christ,
their Lord and Savior who cares greatly
about high school football and who wins.
The God of the human godlings who will endow
the favored with great plays and touchdowns.
“Thank you, Jesus, for this blessed win.”
The game where the best and worst pupils become one,
where ending segregation with despised integration created championships,
millionaires would rise from denied memories.
The three, a darkly clad trio, of the eventual eleven, no! thousands,
clasp hands and march together into the night,
feeling and hearing the cheers and adoration,
is fleeting at best.
And the band played well.
Look both ways, offense-or-defense, we are not all playing by the same rules.
Mind the gaps, the fumbles, the muffs, the broken bodies, and ubiquitous concussions.
Rave on! The band!
Note: This is the 20th year for this challenge. My congratulations to all poets and to Maureen Thorson, along with my thanks, for keeping poetry and writing it what it is: wonderfulness.