Sunday, August 12, 2012

Helmet to the Stone

Late October, on a cool Friday night,
the battle done for the season.
A young man in gridiron gear
stopped at a rock at the base of a flag
placed in memory of a dedicated coach
and put his helmet to the stone.

The polymer plastic gritted against
the great rock, and its chiseled words.
He held it there, his head down in
a private moment of silence.
Not far away, fans marched by seeing
him with his helmet to the stone.

The player, sweat soaked and muddy,
bloodied knuckles, hair plastered to his head,
stoically poised, a picture of youth,
of hard work and of love for the game,
reflected heart, pride and sadness
with his helmet to the stone.

Letters cut with steel deep into the rock
say a name and date of a man
who passed on a legacy of character
to all the players who took the field with him.
Late October, a player, a boy at heart, 
proudly, reverently, put his helmet to the stone.

(a verse for Duane)
Years later, early July, some hot days.
The battle fought, another hero gone.
He played for the love. He played hard
As an Oriole, Chippewa, Crusader, and Patriot.
His heart held community and family close.
“Five more minutes,” helmet to the stone.