Off Season

Mid-February always disappoints;
amidst the valentines and winter breaks
from chains of work and school, the TV yields
but little joy—the football season’s passed.
A scramble for worthwhile footage ensues.
The sportscasters struggle to fill the void
with poker and bowling, but they are lost
without a string of Sunday clashes to
inexpertly dissect, left to bray
about the tackles of their glory days
while time ticks toward the next commercial break.
A lockout-lamed NHL tries to draw
the pigskin crowd, but the sight of gap-toothed
Canadians collecting penalties
for slashing Swedes and Russian teenagers
does not tempt all. Others turn to college sports
and prep their basketball brackets for March,
attention occupied by seven-foot
phenoms who palm a seeming pebble with
enormous hands.
                                    Phil promised us that spring
would be here soon, so until green shoots poke
their pointy heads through wormy rain-soaked soil
and seasoned Wrigley scalpers reappear
with rested voices, we might take a cue
from Lovie’s battered Bears and hibernate.
5 February 2006