To My Son, During the Superbowl
My son stretched across the couch,
was pulled into the spectacle of this year’s
feats of strength by men, women—products.
I know some by name, persona, statistics,
not by handshakes, conversations, bedrooms.
They are white gold, chocolate, or coffee
consumed for a season, another season,
until the shells of heroes are nothing more
than the peanut skins of trivia.
I try to explain ownership, or power,
the way it masquerades as competition,
progress, prowess, or sport.
It’s only football, he says, hand waiving,
eyes fixed on the goal, on the pompoms.
Sure, I say, and could cuss the game
he’s learned to love—but no,
this is not about football.
This is about having the imagination
to see through smoke machines.
In my mouth are these words:
The peoples’ power is found in the thigh
that captures a boy’s imagination,
and the heavier a hammer a man can swing
the more rubble he can create, if—
and this is a mighty big if—
he is willing to create rubble.
There is a criticism here, but it’s stuck,
and dumb because I know that speaking this
will one day cause a son to call me foolish,
or worse, romantic. But there were days,
I’ve been told, when legends weren’t paid
to be legendary, and the power of a thigh
transformed mortals into goddesses.
I want these days for my son,
but more, I want them for us.
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