San Juan poet extraordinaire ~ Arturo Buentiempo/Arturo Francisco Bontempi

Poem of the Day

San Francisco Poet Laureate Emerita Kim Shuck is curating a Poem of the Day with San Francisco Public Library for every day during the COVID-19 pandemic. view the archive of previous day’s poems.


Football: An Elegy

Our kind. American futbol. It’s just the latest New
World incarnation of a millennia-old tradition of

ulama. The ball game. Ritual play’s addiction to
rough & tumble. Mock warriors. Mock war & at

times more. As sometimes I still can’t chill & skip
what the SF Chronicle of my youth used to call the

Green Pages. Rooting for McElhenny & Tittle, Rice
& Montana. Kaepernick. Following whoever’s drafted

Traded up or traded off. At minimum, the stats. Who’s
hot? My late buddy and Sixties San Fran roustabout

Steverino loved football. Much as he did his rituals
The day’s hot bath, first sip of latte, his pre-teaching loaf

with the Seattle Times. Sports section. And so, at the end
I was honored to be taking quiet turns at his home hospice

Skybox. Having arrived late. His whispered greetings un-
intelligible. Turned out that the Seahawks pre-Thanksgiving

game came to be our last share together. Day or so before he
died. Playing the Niners. My hometown team versus his

adopted Seahawks. The haven he’d found in the Pacific
Northwest. Kicking ass. “Blessedly quick” His win. Our loss

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