Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Sports History

I understand what
a jump shot is,
certain mechanics

of the body, hand
positions, elbow
alignment, follow

through. Enough
player names to
mention around

the imaginary water-
cooler if I found
myself there. A body

at rest still needs
to hydrate. I cried
watching Bird

and Magic in that
documentary and
own a small collection

of expensive high-top
sneakers in various
colorways—used

exclusively to walk
my pets or to the
coffee shop for

an almond croissant.
Fresh to death. On
my mantle, four second

place trophies from
intramural wrestling
all before fifth grade.

Pitter patter sprawl.
I can’t remember
swimming. I mean,

I can’t swim. I can’t
drive. Sometimes
I miss a high five,

the pat on the ass.
I swung and missed
at tee-ball, golf. Traded

cards for the love
of the potential investment.
George Brett, I’ll always

love your name.
I appreciate highlights,
trick plays as much as

the next: The Statue
of Liberty, Flea Flickers,
The Changing Light

at Sandover. I was
born in the suburbs
of the city of brotherly

bullies, poor sports,
famous boo-ers and
stadium court houses.

I was the only boy
cut from my seventh
grade soccer team.

It’s in my blood to lose
at all games, even Uno,
especially Monopoly,

and when I do, I spit
into my palm or refuse
to shake hands.

Credit


Copyright © 2015 Brett Fletcher Lauer. Originally published in the Winter 2015 issue of Prairie Schooner. Used with permission of Prairie Schooner

Author


Brett Fletcher Lauer

Brett Fletcher Lauer received an MFA from Saint Mary’s College in 2007.

Date Published: 2016-06-09

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/sports-history