The Home Team
Jan. 30, 2011
They’re so far behind we’re stunned.
Chips, dip, cheese, bottles of dark beer.
The eyes of the wolfhound in shadow.
A vantage point: I sit in this chair and
wonder where they came from, who
sent them here, Judith, Carl, Nancy,
Fred, Cheryl, Scotty, Glen, the lovable
Kienan who is three, jumping on my lap
at half-time, reciting an American poem:
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,”
each word for him a delightful surprise.
He wins. And the wolfhound makes
her way to the chip-dip bowl, her nose
now white as the snow, seeming to think
we will not see her standing there...
It’s early November and there’s only
rain and fierce, fierce wind, the Lake
a short walk east roaring like the ocean.
“Jesus H. Christ!” Scotty rails at the tv.
Wind howls down the quiet street.
Anything could happen, the last brown
leaves torn from the trees, swirl under
the lights. They can’t land. Night just is.
I try to resist its eternal, willowy sway.
The wistful eyes of the dog appear
in a doorway that looks like the posts
and lintels of so many goals gone awry.
It’s about winning, winning, says Vince.
I mean said. Lombardi said, and fierce
winds telling us all there is time for breath,
for taking a deep one the people close by
never need to know is theirs, and for them.
Barbara Wuest has published poems in The Paris Review, Wisconsin Academy Review, Cincinnati Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cape Rock, First Things, The Laurel Review, Point West, Wind Literary Journal, CrossCurrents, Oberon, Friendly, Dogwood and others. She has an MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry, University of California-Irvine.