SuperVerse†† Sports Poems from Hoosier Poets


††††††††† Joseph Heithaus

††††††††† (Winner of a Nation/Discovery Prize)


I think itís his eyes,

the way they connect

through his central nervous

system to his hands, how he can check,

count, release, how the whole science of an offense,

the calculations, the precision of it, rests behind his eyes

how his brain processes the smallest tick of a linebacker to smell

a coming blitz.I think itís his eyes taking in all the nuance of a defense,

then telling his legs, his arm to fire away to whomever the target is.It used to be Marvin,

but then Reggie, or Dallas or whoever happened to be running the route.I think itís his eyes

weíll miss, the way they roll up into his head when a field goal gets missed, or he makes a bad call,

or gets asked a stupid question by the press.I think itís his eyes, like a little boyís eyes, so easy to read

with our own.I think Peyton Manning knows how absurd it all is and wants to make up for getting paid

millions by working as hard as he can.Just a game, say his eyes, Please let us win, they say, I want to play forever.