Occasional Picture August 2009




© 2009 Marina Rundell


Sitting on the grass berm
behind the net, gazing down
at the program to avoid the sun
dripping its heat down my neck
as if summer wasn’t enough.

In search of a cool space
I chill in the articles,
frozen pictures, icy statistics,
who’s who so I can connect          
when the whistle blows.  

For the first time I hear, “Ball!”
I look up from the roster
find a sphere flying toward me
turn my head as if in slow motion
watch the ball pass my face
millimeters away
all this in less than a second.

I quietly thank the yeller
for his caution to pay attention
to the risk of players warming up
as they send more warnings fast
into the fans. More calls of “Ball!”
I laugh at what could have been
an unexpected header
the amusement for everyone.
No longer need to freeze
behind the pages.
Lamps are already on.

I give the atmosphere open eyes,
feel why many congregate here
a need to unite with everyone
when a summer night is enough.
Outside the gates debates
can begin again, especially about
the referees, but not now.

The keeper waits, cleats tangle,
what caused an offside
I don’t know
what caused a corner kick
I’m figuring out
until the ball isn’t saved
no matter how many dives
or prayers, life happens
to any team, at home or away,
it’s a point that’s clear
when all we can do is clap.
Calm, the quiet field echoes back
roars to the bleachers
during tackle steals that cause an injury
the yellow card becomes a red card
an effort to ask for civility
in this and any game.
Fouls shift into penalty kicks
the excitement of one-on-one
going wide or above the bar.

No rest until halftime,
Hexagons and pentagons get passed
with a purpose, anything but the hands.
Quick decisions, chances taken,
the perfect assist, the joy
of the ultimate rare goal.

This time the leather panels don’t miss
the win is my chest.

© 2009 Marina Rundell

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