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National Championship


When the college star quarterback suffered a separated shoulder in the first
half of the prestigious bowl game named after an acidic citrus fruit and not

a fresh, scented flower, he bowed down, planted his hands on his knees and
wilted, realizing his first-team all-everything year would not have a hero’s

ending. When the young back-up quarterback was grabbed by his facemask,
pulled into the grizzled face of the head coach and told, Just go in and have

some fun, everyone knew what would happen. How many of us could take
the reins leading the team to victory at seconds notice? March our team down

the field for the winning score, ignoring the pressure suddenly saddled upon
our shoulder pads. Someday the young back-up blitzed from his blindside,

tackled into the earth’s entrails for four uneven quarters will be a star, parading
around the campus pecs protruding, conducting post-game interviews thanking

his lineman for giving him such good protection. His mom for driving him to
Pop Warner and sitting in the bleachers all those years. And God for allowing

him to excel at a game he loves. But this was today. And the other team had
bigger, badder lineman, brutes nasty enough to eat their mothers whole spitting

out their seeds, ensuring no nice bones from the family tree would ever grow
in their bodies, probably pretty goddamn good at it.

(Published days ago here)


About Daniel Romo

Author of Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press, 2019), When Kerosene's Involved (Mojave River Press, 2014) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). I'm partial to prose poems. Alliteration. And fragments.

2 responses »

  1. Thanks Mark. I’m just a regular guy who writes poetry and loves sports. It’s great when they are able to collide.

  2. Sports Poetry or poetry about sports is a rare thing to see these days. This was a fine example and much better than the turgid, overly florid sports poetry of Grantland Rice and his fellows…

    Great site that published it earlier.


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