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Football Poem

Henry Pye

A wave of arms sloshes inside the stadium
as the home team scores another touchdown
and the cheerleaders’ legs rise like flags, shine
like rotisserie chicken in the stadium lights.
T.S. Eliot sits to my left, gnawing peanuts with
his yellow front teeth, booing at the ref intermittently.
“He’s blinder than :Milton!” and, “Hallmark
writes better poetry than that ref makes calls!” ln
the bleachers vendors come and go, selling over-
priced nachos. l turn to steal a peanut from the
crinkled, oily sack Tom clutches in his crinkled,
oily hand. Below us, a waste land of peanut shells
and debris. Above, the October evening spreads
itself across the sky, an enormous beached whale.

We should do this more often, l think to myself,
then turn to say so, but T.S. Eliot has risen to his feet,
his eyes lit up like Christmas trees as he waves a giant
foam finger in the air, his grin wide as Rhode lsland.
Every fifteen minutes he staggers off to use the restroom,
trousers rolled, his bladder a small macadamia as
he waves his bony behind in other spectators’ faces
and makes his way towards the exit, soon to reappear
and ask me, “Did 1 miss anything?” I give him the plav
by play. “This beats writing poetry any day,” he shouts,
his voice muffled by cheers and vendors’ loud cries,
the entire stadium echoing in perfect unison:
We are the hollow men!
We are the hollow men!
We are the hollow men!