Own Goal (Iran v Morocco)

Circled, we celebrate:

each other,

students,

ourselves.

On my go,

I zero in on the screen,

World Cup drone

a dam to the tears.

Mid-sentence,

Iran scores,

but I don’t signal

like we agreed I would.

I lay myself bare,

give thanks to a community

that has accepted me

to the depths of my me-ness.

And

I need this goal

to be mine

if only for a moment.

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Opening Day: World Cup 2014

A travesty; stuck

at an amusement park,

with hundreds of wet, cranky teenagers.

The buses are late.

 

Obsessively, we check our watches

as heartbeats flutter: kick-off nears.

 

Heads huddle over

a tiny phone screen

with glitchy plays

on a lagging Wi-fi.

 

But we still cheer like it’s the final winning goal

when that first whistle blows:

World Cup has begun.

 

Jimmy Conrad

Yours

is a quiet one:

the solitary anticipation

of a SportsCenter announcement:

you made the team.

 

Jimmy Conrad.

 

They say you did the simple things well:

held your position,

made your tackles,

connected your passes.

 

Your glory lasted

44 minutes

against Italy,

a double yellow

your advantage.

 

We are kind of the same, you and I.

We know:

how cold  pine can be

after 90 minutes;

the weight in a

5 minute performance;

the elation from a

serendipitous 60 seconds.

 

Your moment was small

but it holds a wondrous

place in the journey

of your life.

 

I know, though –

you still go to bed, echoes of if-only

running through your mind.

Shoot Out – 1994 World Cup Final

All of ten years old,

I watched him approach his kick

on a fuzzy TV as big as my head:

Baggio – with his braided rattail –

was the tournament’s shining star.

Up against the Beautiful Game,

Brazil composed ninety minutes of

smoother than peanut butter passes,

shaper than needle shots,

harder than boulder tackles.

Italy’s dream of World Cup triumph

sailed as high as Roberto’s penalty kick:

so far over the goal post,

even the trophy couldn’t follow

its path.

Brandy Chastain

They tried to control

your story –

tell a tale of modesty

instead of showering

you with deserved

accolades.

 

While the men fumbled

for ranking,

you soared to the top.

 

In a nail-biting bout

of five, you bested

your opponents

and brought home that

Golden Trophy (the men –

with and without their shirts –

still dream of it).