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Best Famous Football Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Football poems. This is a select list of the best famous Football poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Football poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of football poems.

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Written by David Berman | Create an image from this poem

Self-Portrait At 28

 I know it's a bad title
but I'm giving it to myself as a gift
on a day nearly canceled by sunlight
when the entire hill is approaching
the ideal of Virginia
brochured with goldenrod and loblolly
and I think "at least I have not woken up
with a bloody knife in my hand"
by then having absently wandered
one hundred yards from the house
while still seated in this chair
with my eyes closed.
It is a certain hill the one I imagine when I hear the word "hill" and if the apocalypse turns out to be a world-wide nervous breakdown if our five billion minds collapse at once well I'd call that a surprise ending and this hill would still be beautiful a place I wouldn't mind dying alone or with you.
I am trying to get at something and I want to talk very plainly to you so that we are both comforted by the honesty.
You see there is a window by my desk I stare out when I am stuck though the outdoors has rarely inspired me to write and I don't know why I keep staring at it.
My childhood hasn't made good material either mostly being a mulch of white minutes with a few stand out moments, popping tar bubbles on the driveway in the summer a certain amount of pride at school everytime they called it "our sun" and playing football when the only play was "go out long" are what stand out now.
If squeezed for more information I can remember old clock radios with flipping metal numbers and an entree called Surf and Turf.
As a way of getting in touch with my origins every night I set the alarm clock for the time I was born so that waking up becomes a historical reenactment and the first thing I do is take a reading of the day and try to flow with it like when you're riding a mechanical bull and you strain to learn the pattern quickly so you don't inadverantly resist it.
II two I can't remember being born and no one else can remember it either even the doctor who I met years later at a cocktail party.
It's one of the little disappointments that makes you think about getting away going to Holly Springs or Coral Gables and taking a room on the square with a landlady whose hands are scored by disinfectant, telling the people you meet that you are from Alaska, and listen to what they have to say about Alaska until you have learned much more about Alaska than you ever will about Holly Springs or Coral Gables.
Sometimes I am buying a newspaper in a strange city and think "I am about to learn what it's like to live here.
" Oftentimes there is a news item about the complaints of homeowners who live beside the airport and I realize that I read an article on this subject nearly once a year and always receive the same image.
I am in bed late at night in my house near the airport listening to the jets fly overhead a strange wife sleeping beside me.
In my mind, the bedroom is an amalgamation of various cold medicine commercial sets (there is always a box of tissue on the nightstand).
I know these recurring news articles are clues, flaws in the design though I haven't figured out how to string them together yet, but I've begun to notice that the same people are dying over and over again, for instance Minnie Pearl who died this year for the fourth time in four years.
III three Today is the first day of Lent and once again I'm not really sure what it is.
How many more years will I let pass before I take the trouble to ask someone? It reminds of this morning when you were getting ready for work.
I was sitting by the space heater numbly watching you dress and when you asked why I never wear a robe I had so many good reasons I didn't know where to begin.
If you were cool in high school you didn't ask too many questions.
You could tell who'd been to last night's big metal concert by the new t-shirts in the hallway.
You didn't have to ask and that's what cool was: the ability to deduct to know without asking.
And the pressure to simulate coolness means not asking when you don't know, which is why kids grow ever more stupid.
A yearbook's endpages, filled with promises to stay in touch, stand as proof of the uselessness of a teenager's promise.
Not like I'm dying for a letter from the class stoner ten years on but.
.
.
Do you remember the way the girls would call out "love you!" conveniently leaving out the "I" as if they didn't want to commit to their own declarations.
I agree that the "I" is a pretty heavy concept and hope you won't get uncomfortable if I should go into some deeper stuff here.
IV four There are things I've given up on like recording funny answering machine messages.
It's part of growing older and the human race as a group has matured along the same lines.
It seems our comedy dates the quickest.
If you laugh out loud at Shakespeare's jokes I hope you won't be insulted if I say you're trying too hard.
Even sketches from the original Saturday Night Live seem slow-witted and obvious now.
It's just that our advances are irrepressible.
Nowadays little kids can't even set up lemonade stands.
It makes people too self-conscious about the past, though try explaining that to a kid.
I'm not saying it should be this way.
All this new technology will eventually give us new feelings that will never completely displace the old ones leaving everyone feeling quite nervous and split in two.
We will travel to Mars even as folks on Earth are still ripping open potato chip bags with their teeth.
Why? I don't have the time or intelligence to make all the connections like my friend Gordon (this is a true story) who grew up in Braintree Massachusetts and had never pictured a brain snagged in a tree until I brought it up.
He'd never broken the name down to its parts.
By then it was too late.
He had moved to Coral Gables.
V five The hill out my window is still looking beautiful suffused in a kind of gold national park light and it seems to say, I'm sorry the world could not possibly use another poem about Orpheus but I'm available if you're not working on a self-portrait or anything.
I'm watching my dog have nightmares, twitching and whining on the office floor and I try to imagine what beast has cornered him in the meadow where his dreams are set.
I'm just letting the day be what it is: a place for a large number of things to gather and interact -- not even a place but an occasion a reality for real things.
Friends warned me not to get too psychedelic or religious with this piece: "They won't accept it if it's too psychedelic or religious," but these are valid topics and I'm the one with the dog twitching on the floor possibly dreaming of me that part of me that would beat a dog for no good reason no reason that a dog could see.
I am trying to get at something so simple that I have to talk plainly so the words don't disfigure it and if it turns out that what I say is untrue then at least let it be harmless like a leaky boat in the reeds that is bothering no one.
VI six I can't trust the accuracy of my own memories, many of them having blended with sentimental telephone and margarine commercials plainly ruined by Madison Avenue though no one seems to call the advertising world "Madison Avenue" anymore.
Have they moved? Let's get an update on this.
But first I have some business to take care of.
I walked out to the hill behind our house which looks positively Alaskan today and it would be easier to explain this if I had a picture to show you but I was with our young dog and he was running through the tall grass like running through the tall grass is all of life together until a bird calls or he finds a beer can and that thing fills all the space in his head.
You see, his mind can only hold one thought at a time and when he finally hears me call his name he looks up and cocks his head and for a single moment my voice is everything: Self-portrait at 28.
Written by Andrew Barton Paterson | Create an image from this poem

Old Schooldays

 Awake, of Muse, the echoes of a day 
Long past, the ghosts of mem'ries manifold -- 
Youth's memories that once were green and gold 
But now, alas, are grim and ashen grey.
The drowsy schoolboy wakened up from sleep, First stays his system with substantial food, Then off for school with tasks half understood, Alas, alas, that cribs should be so cheap! The journey down to town -- 'twere long to tell The storm and riot of the rabble rout; The wild Walpurgis revel in and out That made the ferry boat a floating hell.
What time the captive locusts fairly roared: And bulldog ants, made stingless with a knife, Climbed up the seats and scared the very life From timid folk, who near jumped overboard.
The hours of lessons -- hours with feet of clay Each hour a day, each day more like a week: While hapless urchins heard with blanched cheek The words of doom "Come in on Saturday".
The master gowned and spectacled, precise, Trying to rule by methods firm and kind But always just a little bit behind The latest villainy, the last device, Born of some smoothfaced urchin's fertile brain To irritate the hapless pedagogue, And first involve him in a mental fog Then "have" him with the same old tale again.
The "bogus" fight that brought the sergeant down To that dark corner by the old brick wall, Where mimic combat and theatric brawl Made noise enough to terrify the town.
But on wet days the fray was genuine, When small boys pushed each other in the mud And fought in silence till thin streams of blood Their dirty faces would incarnadine.
The football match or practice in the park With rampant hoodlums joining in the game Till on one famous holiday there came A gang that seized the football for a lark.
Then raged the combat without rest or pause, Till one, a hero, Hawkins unafraid Regained the ball, and later on displayed His nose knocked sideways in his country's cause.
Before the mind quaint visions rise and fall, Old jokes, old students dead and gone: And some that lead us still, while some toil on As rank and file, but "Grammar" children all.
And he, the pilot, who has laid the course For all to steer by, honest, unafraid -- Truth is his beacon light, so he has made The name of the old School a living force.
Written by Harold Pinter | Create an image from this poem

American Football

 Hallelujah!
It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
We blew the shit right back up their own ass And out their fucking ears.
It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
They suffocated in their own shit! Hallelujah.
Praise the Lord for all good things.
We blew them into fucking shit.
They are eating it.
Praise the Lord for all good things.
We blew their balls into shards of dust, Into shards of fucking dust.
We did it.
Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.
Written by James Lee Jobe | Create an image from this poem

Eternity

  for C.
G.
Macdonald, 1956-2006 Charlie, sunrise is a three-legged mongrel dog, going deaf, already blind in one eye, answering to the unlikely name, 'Lucky.
' The sky, at gray-blue dawn, is a football field painted by smiling artists.
Each artist has 3 arms, 3 hands, 3 legs.
One leg drags behind, leaving a trail, leaving a mark.
The future resembles a cloudy dream where the ghosts of all your life try to tell you something, but what? Noon is a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy.
Midnight is an ugly chipped plate that you only use when you are alone.
Sunset is a wise cat who ignores you even when you are offering food; her conception of what life is, or isn't, far exceeds our own.
This moment is a desert at midnight, the hunting moon is full, and owls fly through a cloudless sky.
The past is a winding, green river valley deep between pine covered ridges; what can you make of that? Night is a secret plant growing inky black against the sky.
When this plant's life is over, then day returns like a drunken husband who stayed out until breakfast.
A smile is a quick glimpse at the pretty face of hope.
Hope's face is framed by the beautiful night sky.
Hope's face is framed by the gray-blue dawn.
This is your life, these seconds and years are the music for your only dance.
Charlie, This is the eternity that you get to know.
Written by Vernon Scannell | Create an image from this poem

They Did Not Expect This

 They did not expect this.
Being neither wise nor brave And wearing only the beauty of youth's season They took the first turning quite unquestioningly And walked quickly without looking back even once.
It was of course the wrong turning.
First they were nagged By a small wind that tugged at their clothing like a dog; Then the rain began and there was no shelter anywhere, Only the street and the rows of houses stern as soldiers.
Though the blood chilled, the endearing word burnt the tongue.
There were no parks or gardens or public houses: Midnight settled and the rain paused leaving the city Enormous and still like a great sleeping seal.
At last they found accommodation in a cold Furnished room where they quickly learnt to believe in ghosts; They had their hope stuffed and put on the mantelpiece But found, after a while, that they did not notice it.
While she spends many hours looking in the bottoms of teacups He reads much about association football And waits for the marvellous envelope to fall: Their eyes are strangers and they rarely speak.
They did not expect this.
Written by Billy Collins | Create an image from this poem

Invention

 Tonight the moon is a cracker,
with a bite out of it
floating in the night,

and in a week or so
according to the calendar
it will probably look

like a silver football,
and nine, maybe ten days ago
it reminded me of a thin bright claw.
But eventually -- by the end of the month, I reckon -- it will waste away to nothing, nothing but stars in the sky, and I will have a few nights to myself, a little time to rest my jittery pen.
Written by Henry Lawson | Create an image from this poem

To Be Amused

 You ask me to be gay and glad 
While lurid clouds of danger loom, 
And vain and bad and gambling mad, 
Australia races to her doom.
You bid me sing the light and fair, The dance, the glance on pleasure's wings – While you have wives who will not bear, And beer to drown the fear of things.
A war with reason you would wage To be amused for your short span, Until your children's heritage Is claimed for China by Japan.
The football match, the cricket score, The "scraps", the tote, the mad'ning Cup – You drunken fools that evermore "To-morrow morning" sober up! I see again with haggard eyes, The thirsty land, the wasted flood; Unpeopled plains beyond the skies, And precious streams that run to mud; The ruined health, the wasted wealth, In our mad cities by the seas, The black race suicide by stealth, The starved and murdered industries! You bid me make a farce of day, And make a mockery of death; While not five thousand miles away The yellow millions pant for breath! But heed me now, nor ask me this – Lest you too late should wake to find That hopeless patriotism is The strongest passion in mankind! You'd think the seer sees, perhaps, While staring on from days like these, Politeness in the conquering Japs, Or mercy in the banned Chinese! I mind the days when parents stood, And spake no word, while children ran From Christian lanes and deemed it good To stone a helpless Chinaman.
I see the stricken city fall, The fathers murdered at their doors, The sack, the massacre of all Save healthy slaves and paramours – The wounded hero at the stake, The pure girl to the leper's kiss – God, give us faith, for Christ's own sake To kill our womankind ere this.
I see the Bushman from Out Back, From mountain range and rolling downs, And carts race on each rough bush track With food and rifles from the towns; I see my Bushmen fight and die Amongst the torn blood-spattered trees, And hear all night the wounded cry For men! More men and batteries! I see the brown and yellow rule The southern lands and southern waves, White children in the heathen school, And black and white together slaves; I see the colour-line so drawn (I see it plain and speak I must), That our brown masters of the dawn Might, aye, have fair girls for their lusts! With land and life and race at stake – No matter which race wronged, or how – Let all and one Australia make A superhuman effort now.
Clear out the blasting parasites, The paid-for-one-thing manifold, And curb the goggled "social-lights" That "scorch" to nowhere with our gold.
Store guns and ammunition first, Build forts and warlike factories, Sink bores and tanks where drought is worst, Give over time to industries.
The outpost of the white man's race, Where next his flag shall be unfurled, Make clean the place! Make strong the place! Call white men in from all the world!
Written by William Matthews | Create an image from this poem

Dire Cure

 "First, do no harm," the Hippocratic
Oath begins, but before she might enjoy
such balm, the docs had to harm her tumor.
It was large, rare, and so anomalous in its behavior that at first they mis- diagnosed it.
"Your wife will die of it within a year.
" But in ten days or so I sat beside her bed with hot-and-sour soup and heard an intern congratulate her on her new diagnosis: a children's cancer (doesn't that possessive break your heart?) had possessed her.
I couldn't stop personifying it.
Devious, dour, it had a clouded heart, like Iago's.
It loved disguise.
It was a garrison in a captured city, a bad horror film (The Blob), a stowaway, an inside job.
If I could make it be like something else, I wouldn't have to think of it as what, in fact, it was: part of my lovely wife.
Next, then, chemotherapy.
Her hair fell out in tufts, her color dulled, she sat laced to bags of poison she endured somewhat better than her cancer cells could, though not by much.
And indeed, the cancer cells waned more slowly than the chemical "cocktails" (one the bright color of Campari), as the chemo nurses called them, dripped into her.
There were three hundred days of this: a week inside the hospital and two weeks out, the fierce elixirs percolating all the while.
She did five weeks of radiation, too, Monday to Friday like a stupid job.
She wouldn't eat the food the hospital wheeled in.
"Pureed fish" and "minced fish" were worth, I thought, a sharp surge of food snobbery, but she'd grown averse to it all -- the nurses' crepe soles' muffled squeaks along the hall, the filtered air, the smothered urge to read, the fear, the perky visitors, flowers she'd not been sent when she was well, the room- mate (what do "semiprivate" and "extra virgin" have in common?) who died, the nights she wept and sweated faster than the tubes could moisten her with lurid poison.
One chemotherapy veteran, six years in remission, chanced on her former chemo nurse at a bus stop and threw up.
My wife's tumor has not come back.
I like to think of it in Tumor Hell strapped to a dray, flat as a deflated football, bleak and nubbled like a poorly ironed truffle.
There's one tense in Tumor Hell: forever, or what we call the present.
For that long the flaccid tumor marinates in lurid toxins.
Tumor Hell Clinic is, it turns out, a teaching hospital.
Every century or so, the way we'd measure it, a chief doc brings a pack of students round.
They run some simple tests: surge current through the tumor, batter it with mallets, push a wood-plane across its pebbled hide and watch a scurf of tumor- pelt kink loose from it, impale it, strafe it with lye and napalm.
There might be nothing left in there but a still space surrounded by a carapace.
"This one is nearly dead," the chief doc says.
"What's the cure for that?" The students know: "Kill it slower, of course.
" They sprinkle it with rock salt and move on.
Here on the aging earth the tumor's gone: My wife is hale, though wary, and why not? Once you've had cancer, you don't get headaches anymore, you get brain tumors, at least until the aspirin kicks in.
Her hair's back, her weight, her appetite.
"And what about you?" friends ask me.
First the fear felt like sudden weightlessness: I couldn't steer and couldn't stay.
I couldn't concentrate: surely my spit would dry before I could slather a stamp.
I made a list of things to do next day before I went to bed, slept like a cork, woke to no more memory of last night's list than smoke has of fire, made a new list, began to do the things on it, wept, paced, berated myself, drove to the hospital, and brought my wife food from the takeout joints that ring a hospital as surely as brothels surround a gold strike.
I drove home rancid with anger at her luck and mine -- anger that filled me the same way nature hates a vacuum.
"This must be hell for you," some said.
Hell's not other people: Sartre was wrong about that, too.
L'enfer, c'est moi? I've not got the ego for it.
There'd be no hell if Dante hadn't built a model of his rage so well, and he contrived to get exiled from it, for it was Florence.
Why would I live in hell? I love New York.
Some even said the tumor and fierce cure were harder on the care giver -- yes, they said "care giver" -- than on the "sick person.
" They were wrong who said those things.
Of course I hated it, but some of "it" was me -- the self-pity I allowed myself, the brave poses I struck.
The rest was dire threat my wife met with moral stubbornness, terror, rude jokes, nausea, you name it.
No, let her think of its name and never say it, as if it were the name of God.
Written by Edgar Bowers | Create an image from this poem

Mary

 The angel of self-discipline, her guardian
Since she first knew and had to go away
From home that spring to have her child with strangers,
Sustained her, till the vanished boy next door
And her ordeal seemed fiction, and the true
Her mother’s firm insistence she was the mother
And the neighbors’ acquiescence.
So she taught school, Walking a mile each way to ride the street car— First books of the Aeneid known by heart, French, and the French Club Wednesday afternoon; Then summer replacement typist in an office, Her sister’s family moving in with them, Depression years and she the only earner.
Saturday, football game and opera broadcasts, Sunday, staying at home to wash her hair, The Business Women’s Circle Monday night, And, for a treat, birthdays and holidays, Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald.
The young blond sister long since gone to college, Nephew and nieces gone, her mother dead, Instead of Caesar, having to teach First Aid, The students rowdy, she retired.
The rent For the empty rooms she gave to Thornwell Orphanage, Unwed Mothers, Temperance, and Foster Parents And never bought the car she meant to buy; Too blind at last to do much more than sit All day in the antique glider on the porch Listening to cars pass up and down the street.
Each summer, on the grass behind the house— Cape jasmine, with its scent of August nights Humid and warm, the soft magnolia bloom Marked lightly by a slow brown stain—she spread, For airing, the same small intense collection, Concert programs, worn trophies, years of yearbooks, Letters from schoolgirl chums, bracelets of hair And the same picture: black hair in a bun, Puzzled eyes in an oval face as young Or old as innocence, skirt to the ground, And, seated on the high school steps, the class, The ones to whom she would have said, “Seigneur, Donnez-nous la force de supporter La peine,” as an example easy to remember, Formal imperative, object first person plural.
Written by Marriott Edgar | Create an image from this poem

Goalkeeper Joe

 Joe Dunn were a bobby for football 
He gave all his time to that sport, 
He played for the West Wigan Whippets, 
On days when they turned out one short.
He’d been member of club for three seasons And had grumbled again and again, Cos he found only time that they’d used him, Were when it were pouring with rain! He felt as his talents were wasted When each week his job seemed to be No but minding the clothes for the others And chucking clods at referee! So next time selection committee Came round to ask him for his sub He told them if they didn’t play him, He’d transfer to some other club.
Committee they coaxed and cudgelled him But found he’d have none of their shifts So they promised to play him next weekend In match against Todmorden Swifts.
This match were the plum of the season An annual fixture it stood, ‘T were reckoned as good as a cup tie By them as liked plenty of blood! The day of the match dawned in splendour A beautiful morning it were With a fog drifting up from the brick fields And a drizzle of rain in the air.
The Whippets made Joe their goalkeeper A thing as weren’t wanted at all For they knew once battle had started They’d have no time to mess with the ball! Joe stood by the goal posts and shivered While the fog round his legs seemed to creep 'Til feeling neglected and lonely He leant back and went fast asleep.
He dreamt he were playing at Wembley And t’roar of a thundering cheer He were kicking a goal for the Whippets When he woke with a clout in his ear! He found 'twere the ball that had struck him And inside the net there it lay But as no one had seen this ‘ere ‘appen He punted it back into play! 'Twere the first ball he’d punted in anger His feelings he couldn’t restrain Forgetting as he were goalkeeper He ran out and kicked it again! Then after the ball like a rabbit He rushed down the field full of pride He reckoned if nobody stopped him Then ‘appen he’d score for his side.
‘Alf way down he bumped into his captain Who weren’t going to let him go by But Joe, like Horatio Nelson Put a fist to the Captain’s blind eye! On he went 'til the goal lay before him Then stopping to get himself set He steadied the ball, and then kicked it And landed it right in the net! The fog seemed to lift at that moment And all eyes were turned on the lad The Whippets seemed kind of dumbfounded While the Swifts started cheering like mad! 'Twere his own goal as he’d kicked the ball through He’d scored for his foes ‘gainst his friends For he’d slept through the referee’s whistle And at half time he hadn’t changed ends! Joe was transferred from the West Wigan Whippets To the Todmorden Swifts, where you’ll see Still minding the clothes for the others And chucking clods at referee!
Written by Philip Larkin | Create an image from this poem

Träumerei

 In this dream that dogs me I am part
Of a silent crowd walking under a wall,
Leaving a football match, perhaps, or a pit,
All moving the same way.
After a while A second wall closes on our right, Pressing us tighter.
We are now shut in Like pigs down a concrete passage.
When I lift My head, I see the walls have killed the sun, And light is cold.
Now a giant whitewashed D Comes on the second wall, but much too high For them to recognise: I await the E, Watch it approach and pass.
By now We have ceased walking and travel Like water through sewers, steeply, despite The tread that goes on ringing like an anvil Under the striding A.
I crook My arm to shield my face, for we must pass Beneath the huge, decapitated cross, White on the wall, the T, and I cannot halt The tread, the beat of it, it is my own heart, The walls of my room rise, it is still night, I have woken again before the word was spelt.
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

End Middle Beginning

 There was an unwanted child.
Aborted by three modern methods she hung on to the womb, hooked onto I building her house into it and it was to no avail, to black her out.
At her birth she did not cry, spanked indeed, but did not yell-- instead snow fell out of her mouth.
As she grew, year by year, her hair turned like a rose in a vase, and bled down her face.
Rocks were placed on her to keep the growing silent, and though they bruised, they did not kill, though kill was tangled into her beginning.
They locked her in a football but she merely curled up and pretended it was a warm doll's house.
They pushed insects in to bite her off and she let them crawl into her eyes pretending they were a puppet show.
Later, later, grown fully, as they say, they gave her a ring, and she wore it like a root ans said to herself, "To be not loved is the human condition," and lay like a stature in her bed.
Then once, by terrible chance, love took her in his big boat and she shoveled the ocean in a scalding joy.
Then, slowly, love seeped away, the boat turned into paper and she knew her fate, at last.
Turn where you belong, into a deaf mute that metal house, let him drill you into no one.
Written by A E Housman | Create an image from this poem

Is My Team Ploughing

 "Is my team ploughing, 
That I was used to drive 
And hear the harness jingle 
When I was man alive?" 

Ay, the horses trample, 
The harness jingles now; 
No change though you lie under 
The land you used to plough.
"Is football playing Along the river shore, With lads to chase the leather, Now I stand up no more?" Ay, the ball is flying, The lads play heart and soul; The goal stands up, the keeper Stands up to keep the goal.
"Is my girl happy, That I thought hard to leave, And has she tired of weeping As she lies down at eve?" Ay, she lies down lightly, She lies not down to weep, Your girl is well contented.
Be still, my lad, and sleep.
"Is my friend hearty, Now I am thin and pine, And has he found to sleep in A better bed than mine?" Yes, lad, I lie easy, I lie as lads would choose; I cheer a dead man's sweetheart, Never ask me whose.
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

The Death Baby

 1.
DREAMS I was an ice baby.
I turned to sky blue.
My tears became two glass beads.
My mouth stiffened into a dumb howl.
They say it was a dream but I remember that hardening.
My sister at six dreamt nightly of my death: "The baby turned to ice.
Someone put her in the refrigerator and she turned as hard as a Popsicle.
" I remember the stink of the liverwurst.
How I was put on a platter and laid between the mayonnaise and the bacon.
The rhythm of the refrigerator had been disturbed.
The milk bottle hissed like a snake.
The tomatoes vomited up their stomachs.
The caviar turned to lave.
The pimentos kissed like cupids.
I moved like a lobster, slower and slower.
The air was tiny.
The air would not do.
* I was at the dogs' party.
I was their bone.
I had been laid out in their kennel like a fresh turkey.
This was my sister's dream but I remember that quartering; I remember the sickbed smell of the sawdust floor, the pink eyes, the pink tongues and the teeth, those nails.
I had been carried out like Moses and hidden by the paws of ten Boston bull terriers, ten angry bulls jumping like enormous roaches.
At first I was lapped, rough as sandpaper.
I became very clean.
Then my arm was missing.
I was coming apart.
They loved me until I was gone.
2.
THE DY-DEE DOLL My Dy-dee doll died twice.
Once when I snapped her head off and let if float in the toilet and once under the sun lamp trying to get warm she melted.
She was a gloom, her face embracing her little bent arms.
She died in all her rubber wisdom.
3.
SEVEN TIMES I died seven times in seven ways letting death give me a sign, letting death place his mark on my forehead, crossed over, crossed over And death took root in that sleep.
In that sleep I held an ice baby and I rocked it and was rocked by it.
Oh Madonna, hold me.
I am a small handful.
4.
MADONNA My mother died unrocked, unrocked.
Weeks at her deathbed seeing her thrust herself against the metal bars, thrashing like a fish on the hook and me low at her high stage, letting the priestess dance alone, wanting to place my head in her lap or even take her in my arms somehow and fondle her twisted gray hair.
But her rocking horse was pain with vomit steaming from her mouth.
Her belly was big with another child, cancer's baby, big as a football.
I could not soothe.
With every hump and crack there was less Madonna until that strange labor took her.
Then the room was bankrupt.
That was the end of her paying.
5.
MAX Max and I two immoderate sisters, two immoderate writers, two burdeners, made a pact.
To beat death down with a stick.
To take over.
To build our death like carpenters.
When she had a broken back, each night we built her sleep.
Talking on the hot line until her eyes pulled down like shades.
And we agreed in those long hushed phone calls that when the moment comes we'll talk turkey, we'll shoot words straight from the hip, we'll play it as it lays.
Yes, when death comes with its hood we won't be polite.
6.
BABY Death, you lie in my arms like a cherub, as heavy as bread dough.
Your milky wings are as still as plastic.
Hair soft as music.
Hair the color of a harp.
And eyes made of glass, as brittle as crystal.
Each time I rock you I think you will break.
I rock.
I rock.
Glass eye, ice eye, primordial eye, lava eye, pin eye, break eye, how you stare back! Like the gaze if small children you know all about me.
You have worn my underwear.
You have read my newspaper.
You have seen my father whip me.
You have seen my stroke my father's whip.
I rock.
I rock.
We plunge back and forth comforting each other.
We are stone.
We are carved, a pietà that swings.
Outside, the world is a chilly army.
Outside, the sea is brought to its knees.
Outside, Pakistan is swallowed in a mouthful.
I rock.
I rock.
You are my stone child with still eyes like marbles.
There is a death baby for each of us.
We own him.
His smell is our smell.
Beware.
Beware.
There is a tenderness.
There is a love for this dumb traveler waiting in his pink covers.
Someday, heavy with cancer or disaster I will look up at Max and say: It is time.
Hand me the death baby and there will be that final rocking.
Written by A E Housman | Create an image from this poem

Twice a Week the Winter Thorough

 Twice a week the winter thorough 
Here stood I to keep the goal: 
Football then was fighting sorrow 
For the young man's soul.
Now in Maytime to the wicket Out I march with bat and pad: See the son of grief at cricket Trying to be glad.
Try I will; no harm in trying: Wonder 'tis how little mirth Keeps the bones of man from lying On the bed of earth.