Footballs always dazzled me,
composed boxes on the shelf,
like pigskin half moons and suns
needing tees from toppling down,
a kick or a toss to send them
hurling to human planets.
The long run, perfect spiral
is inherent in its form,
as is carnage, grace, error.
Its life is moving forward
in the give-take of the game
and the frenzied need to score.
In the flash of flight my dreams
ran thoughts of the gridiron:
the quick release, the jute fake,
the deer stride to the end zone,
the soft jump over the safety
for the champion touchdown—
existed in perfection
on the lined green schoolyard turf
until the surest pass ever thrown
slipped like butter through my hands,
the handoff fumbled down, down…
I was born… to be a fan.