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Jogging Around My Old High School Football Field at Night.

Jogging Around My Old High School Football Field at Night

It's dark and quiet. My thighs jiggle
another quarter mile, and every season
my shoulders shrink inside the jerseys
of that boy who played right guard
with Mud-Dog Sweeney at center
and Jarhead Jones at tackle. Stadium lights,
ballooning knees, broken fingers. Concussion?--
No, he's fine. Coach Casey yelling, Suck it up!
when we're down by two, but marching.

My wife won't let our son play football.
Brain injury, a fifteen-year-old? Are you crazy?
I don't argue. Black track streams below
the final rib-stitching sprint into the end zone
with not enough breath to Yeah,
a happy brute, stomping, sky-fisted,
parents bouncing the stands.

Fingers laced over my balding head, sweating
home along Stadium Street's soft houses,
screen-lit fans check Fantasy stats and scores,
lineups and injuries. Who's back in, who's
questionable, who's out?

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Author:Hughes, Henry
Publication:Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2017
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