A Little Ditty
Dear Coach’s Corner.
I’m writing in order
for someone to explain
to my niece the distinction
between these mandatory pre-game group rites of submission
and the rallies at Nuremburg.
Specifically the function
the ritual serves in conjunction
with what everybody knows
is in the end a kid’s game.
I’m just appealing to your sense of fair play
when I say she’s puzzled by
the incessant pressure for her to not defy
the collective will,
and yellow ribboned lapels,
as the soldiers inexplicably rappel
down from the arena rafters
(which, if not so insane, would be grounds for screaming laughter).
Dear Ron MacLean,
I wouldn’t bother with these questions
if I didn’t sense some spiritual connection.
We may not be the same
but it’s not like we’re from different planets:
we both love this game so much we can hardly fucking stand it.
Alberta-born and prairie-raised.
Seems like there ain’t a sheet of ice north of Fargo I ain’t played.
From Penhold to the Gatineau,
every fond memory of childhood that I know
is somehow connected
to the culture of this game. I can’t just let it go.
But I guess it comes down to
what kind of world you want to live in,
and if diversity is disagreement,
and disagreement is treason,
well don’t be surprised if we find ourselves reaping
a strange and bitter fruit
that sad old man beside you
keeps feeding to young minds as virtue.
It takes a village to raise a child
but just a flag to raze the children
until they’re nothing more than ballast for fulfilling
a madman’s dream
of a paradise where complexity
is reduced to black and white.
How do I
protect her from
this cult of death?