Carmen 10-23-2009, Ohio St. vs. Minnesota 38-7.
Remember this moment, I say to myself, as I look over at his
brown eyes sparkling against the backdrop of driving rain
and red plastic ponchos.
Even the hot dog vendors stay beneath the steel girder overhang.
With each touchdown, the army troop
resolutely marches into the end zone and
executes the number of push-ups that match points on the board.
Oh how they must be wishing for this game to end.
No more so than I, as water trickles from eye,
not sure if from rain, runny nose or tears
for a time that will never be like this again
He is schooling me, on nuances of a game
I once taught him.
“See how they line up, in a spread.
They didn’t used to, until they got the new QB,
but that’s what all the teams are doing now.”
Next they line up in wildcat formation
shooting the ball from between the legs of the center
out to the running back, the o-line is unbalanced.
But then I think all of football is so,
as we sit high above the teams and band – the best damn one in the land –
while the wind blows at a temperature less than freezing
and rain forms droplets on my not so environmentally-friendly Styrofoam cup
filled with cider half-heated, half-spiced, half-drunk.
The hot dogs are long,
but the quarters of this game even more so.
Finally, at clock’s end we stand for tradition –
I have learned the words by now,
the crowd has sung the song so many times today,
that I have forgotten
I did not go to school here.
I only have vague memories of a sister and brother
at another game from another time…
“Summer’s heat and Winter’s cold,
The season pass, the years will roll;”
Remember this moment, I say to him, reaching out my arm
to cradle the young man that was once my boy
as the chorus of sodden fans warbles,
“Time and change will surely show
How firm they friendship…”
I let go of him, throw my arms up high,
He raises his arms too
and together, with the faithful fans,
we spell out the word that has been our bond today –
“O” “hi” “o”