This is a response to Kristen-Chantelle Woo's outrageously artless poem "The Game of Soccer".
The stadium is full, the great crowd—hushed.
The players run afield, the women blush.
The men wave flags, the children cheer and clap—
There is that whistle—now! The heart's dread trap
Releases all its valves as—up and high—
The ball is fired, piercing through the sky.
Over the heads and centre field—and still—
Received with great ease—there! O! Sweat and skill
Can not be stopped by thicket, moat or wall.
Alas, the player, rushed and flushed—the goal
Is missed! It was a feign, a fail, a fault,
To be forgiven—never. The assault
On players' lives (and wives) and names begins.
Two crowds both roar for blood. Their vicious grins
Cause heads to roll off shoulders low and slumped:
"You goddamn dummy! Couldn't you have jumped?"
A player's life's a tale of fear and dread—
A doll, a manikin—life hanging by a thread.
And it is hoped that, following his trip,
He will not split his true beloved's lip.