Poet 2: faith

"Game Over"

 

Fourth set.

 

25-24:

Gold medal game.

See the crowd; hear them roar

All screaming your name.

 

Step up- there's the line.

Just breathe.

(In, out.)

Just serve, one last time.

 

Roll dribble-dribble roll

And the ball's in your hand.

Steady,

ready,

under control.

Ignore the rabid, screaming fans.

Four seconds left-

Move fast, move fast!

One deep breath

As seconds pass.

Toss...

 

 

Step-

 

 

Hit,

Back bent.

Arms stretched to reach

Their full extent.

Smack!

 

The ball, quite simply, floats.

Time stops

(Everyone stops)

To watch, and then:

 

The ball dips-

Slips-

Falls over the net.

 

A diving bump

The quickest set!

Middle hitter attacks:

One-two-

Crack.

 

No time, no thought

Just

React. 

"Yeah-yeah-yeah!"

The libero's call

Open now, facing the ball

she's got it

step, split

 

It is in this moment that you realize

What the hours of practice were for

Why you set the ball a million times

'Till you could do it backwards, upside-down, even blind

 

The footwork is unfaltering

You see everything

In that moment you know

Where the players are, where to go:

A back set

(Fooling the blockers)

To the off-side hitter.

There's no one to stop her!

Kill.

26-24

Final score.

 

When the ball hits the floor

The world goes silent,

Like you are watching this on television.

Like winning muted everything.

You see the celebrating

The shrieking, the sudden cries

You are crushed in a huddle

Yet you are thousands of miles away.

 

           Watching.

Re                                  moved.

Detach                                  ed.

                       Apart.

S     e     p     a     r     a     t     e.

 

Nothing feels real.

The shutter flashes, again and again.

Someone thrusts a banner into your hands

Someone thrusts a hand onto your shoulder

You smile; you strike a pose

Carried along by the spirited wave 

Are you the only one who knows

This is the last match you'll ever play?

Are you the only one to realize

That something beautiful has died?

The End

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