Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For You Coach Howard

The bag lay flat and empty upon the floor
It's contents divided to separate parts of the room
Though still united in the group of hands that held them
The words silently floated about
and stabbed
pierced the hearts who heard them

Grips tightened upon gifts
fingers wetwiped back tears
Tears that crescendo into applause
The sad white wave of what had come to pass
No more shuffle feet forward
to give advice
to comfort the sobs
to teach the parry or lunge
College building inebriated smell
invading the thoughts of those sitting upon the floor
Cold creeping up into their tailbones
Cold forcing down upon their bodies

There is "this" man
Wise beyond wise
talented beyond talented
and untapped
ruled by the disease which is killing him
Now the comfort lays in watching
shouting instructions across the room
He is not done

Private lessons ended
a lifetime closing
Closing time

There he sat
Regal and ready
in his wheelchair
a little over four foot tall

That man in his wheelchair
was the tallest man that day.

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