the way he plays
stirs up something inside me
I am fascinated
by the completeness of his focus,
by the way he carries himself
with the false stillness of a coiled spring
till some invisible latch is released and he dives
headfirst at the ball.
he saves it, his team leads
and he is one of the golden boys.
by halftime, his jersey is torn
and he lifts it to show me his battle wounds,
scars four inches long and ugly.
while I wince in sympathy, he shrugs it off and
returns to his position:
body tensed and alert, eyes seeing without watching.
he still carries himself like Apollo
after the game,
the stride with a hint of a swagger,
his face glowing with victory,
not yet down from the adrenaline high.
I watch and wonder
how I made him tilt his head enough
to see me.
20 October 2001