Football season always reminds me of this poem I wrote more than twenty years ago now. Many years younger than my jock brothers, I grew up watching the younger play football, basketball, and baseball. I spent hours upon hours commuting to games with my dad, his Jeep, and sometimes friends such as Les Eva. Now my jock son plays on the same basketball court as my brother once did. Time passes, but some memories remain indelible. From the archives….
After the Game
At the table Mama brings him milk toast.
Steamy lactose floods my nostrils as Dad
inhales hot globby bread–post game ambrosia.
Mama waits in the shadows to bring another
helping. I perch in the corner hearing him talk,
itemize the highlights: how my brother showed.
“Should’ve had six more, didn’t watch the block.”
He stoops to glut the bottom of his bowl.
Our mutt, old from begging, sits up against the wall.
My dad slurps, not bothered by her lack of pride.
She leans, senile statue, until I call,
“This time won’t be different!” She turns aside.
Shadowed, Mama asks, “What honey?” I shrink
away. She turns to tackle dishes in the sink.