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The Game.

The Game

   My dad told me
   that in his day
   gods walked the earth
   as semi-pro football players
   for teams like Magnolia, Frankford,
   and Ogontz;

   big men, hard men,
   broad chested, bull necked,
   biceped and thick thighed
   who walked in glory
   on fields of praise
   that smelled of cut grass
   and cigar smoke
   and rumbled with the ocean
   of brown coated crowds

   of men on an afternoon
   off from the foundry
   and day labor
   who walked to work
   past signs in windows
   that read "No Polacks,"
   or "Dagos," "Bohunks,"
   "Kikes," "Micks," "Spics,"
   or "Niggers."

   Here they were allowed
   away from their wives and worry
   to see somebody
   win something
   the way that they knew:

   a bloody mouthed, black eyed
   grunting for inches,
   and the occasional rapture
   of running for life
   in a rhythm of weaves and feints
   into the open as the roar rises,
   or leaping to catch a chance
   as it spirals
   out of the smoke gray sky.
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Author:Gadzinski, Eric
Publication:Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2007
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