after the game

when

all

I

want

to do

is scream

about the patriarchy

but I know I’d just

perpetuate

a stereotype

what am I supposed to do

when I score a goal on you

and you act like I’m a tree

whose branch luckily swayed

in the right direction

what am I supposed to do

when I tackle you

as well as some dude

but my lack of maleness

makes you stutter

I’m not sorry

that girls can do

what you can do;

I am not sorry

that, sometimes,

we do it better, too.

 

I am 24 years old,

playing a game I love

more than men

for 20 and have been playing

with them, side by side,

for the same.

 

I’ve always loved being the underdog.

 

but why can’t you

just put your head down like you do

when your friend nails a freakin maradona

these things are not so hard to do

when we treat this sport like a drug

admit that it’s mine, too;

that just because your body

can lift 200 pounds doesn’t mean

mine can’t kick your ass

with a soccer ball

that’s all I want:

the chance to come to a game,

ponytail in tow,

and still feel like I belong

to something that was here

long before I called it my own,

long before I learned

that girls aren’t supposed to do

what boys do.

 

all the friends and teams,

games and sprains, fields

and nails to the head,

bruised knees and toes,

championships and titles later

 

and these guys still insist

I need to prove myself.

 

I am not a tree

standing in the wind.

 

I am a woman–

and a pretty damn good soccer player.

 

March 4, 2016

Politics

I hear a knock

from the cellar

and call on Ego

to answer the door:

“Money for the poor?”

a young man ponders,

“What am I doing here?”

and the door is shut,

hands still warm.

 

I can handle

up to six hundred dollars

at a time,

enough for rent,

some shoes,

wine if I have the time

but where will my children

find a place to eat

under piles of sand and coal,

will Ego have their backs as well

to protect them

from further turmoil?

 

Will our children

sit separate

from the meal or the plate,

voters at stake,

presidents too late

with their old boxes

and used rhymes,

’cause no one should lie

when they’ve got no time

to solve old Blackbeard’s problems–

go turn them on themselves,

though, and they’d all go runnin.

 

Perhaps off to Ego,

now waiting at the door–

always on watch

as a good man should

he was told, “Boys will be boys,”

and he said, “Shuck yeah,

that’s fine,” so he smoked up

slow and stared on.

 

November 25, 2015