“Youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman to recite poem before Super Bowl LV” – CNN, January 27
When Sunday comes we ask ourselves
Where can we find the football among these infinite channels?
Will we eat of wings (chicken) festooned in our flannels?
Now we’ve braved the telly of the beast.
We’ve learned that one team’s called The Chiefs.
Another be called The Buccaneers.
We hear there’ll be beers. Cheers.
And so we will gaze this Sunday upon the Bowl that is Super
And calculate downs and yardage earned in athletic pursuit.
Perhaps someone else do it; math’s not our strong suit.
We would much rather speak of a down that is touched
Like the lily caressed by the hushed
Morning dew that falls on the lea.
Or in this case, AstroTurf, apparently.
See the men now stride forth on that parallelogram of sport
And line up in formation, two sides, fighting ranks,
Like a military conflict, but with jocks, not tanks.
O pigskin connoisseurs! Proudly pumped up in pads!
Girding your gridirons, protecting your gonads!
Go forth! Foot the ball! Earn your millions! Make bones crunch!
Whereas I, like most poets, can ill afford lunch.
On quarterback! Kicker! On defendy guys, smooshers!
Relent not in your quest for football-ian supremacy!
Score extra point thingies. Show the foe zero clemency.
Even refs throw their hankies in unbridled elation!
Oh, I see, that’s a foul; now they give explanations.
“Penalty declined.” You can do that in pro sports?
I’m sorry, remind me, which team are we rooting for?
But while the Super Bowl can be periodically delayed,
It can never be defeated. The concept, not this game, I mean;
Someone has to win, either the red guys or the other team.
But the essence of Super Bowl? It prevails beyond Sunday,
This peak day of mega-sized, televised “running plays,”
A term that I picked up while Googling “football”
As I prepped for this poem and stress-sipped hard alcohol.
It’s to poetry we pass the intercepted sack
With an offside of awe for this Hail Mary-est of Bowls.
In a blitzing of words this fumbling spectacle we robe.
Lo, brawn and sweet lyric here meet at this junction;
We hope we don’t suffer a word-robe malfunction.
For millions of fans tune their ear to this ode;
Though more likely dash quickly to the commode.
But there may be some who will drink in such verse
Then after sit quietly without pestering their fiancés
And wonder what time is the part with Beyoncé.
We know that light verse at the Bowl’s controversial
When what the fans crave are the pricey commercials.
But when Sunday comes, one small poem will feel slight,
For the game goes on long,
Though there is always Bud Lite.
If only we’re brave enough to buy it.
If only we’re desperate enough to drink it.