We block their shots and bungle their passes
all season Coach said it doesn’t matter
who’s faster, has longer legs, it matters
who’s got hands up on D and out on
offense, it matters who’s got the heart
knowing the ball shows up when our bodies
are at the line of scrimmage, it matters
that the ball shows up where
there’s no party nor parentage nor pigment.
Coach leans over the sideline
hands overhead, fingers spread, heels up,
armpits damp and exposed
She’s telling the team:
all we have to do is step in,
step up, keep those arms in the air.
Originally published by Art + Literature Labortory