Life Before

Life Before
On the golf course, alone at dusk,
sand traps beckon like Homer's Sirens,
greens slick and tilted - 
playing with the ghosts 
of Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead.
All three balls split the fairway,
mine out front by twenty yards.
"Shot!" they call out;

On the hardwood court, sweaty bright,
bringing the ball up, surveying the options,
ball kisses fingertips, ready to share,
calculating, pass, pass, swish, get back -
sneakers squeaking, "Switch,"
the ball,
 a constant drum beat, 
rips the netting;

On the gridiron, Friday night, October chill,
crowd leaning in along the sidelines,
pom pom pretties, she's there,
the whistle blows, ball soars, heart pounding race -
quarterback barks like a San Francisco seal,
darting toward an instant of daylight,
through a sliver of open, then a crowd of thud,
and a face full of turf;

Oh, the games boys play to get ready for the rest.

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