The Holy In-Between

Where will we find
the playing field
where we can triumph?

Where is there
any scoreboard
that shows us ahead?

Where is any pen in hand
scratching a “W”
next to our name?

We are exhausted
and every piece of equipment
we have is secondhand or broken.

We are injured
and our bandages are laden
with toxins and old blood.

We are demoralized
and disorganized, sundowning
and angry and embarrassed.

But I am tired
and demoralized and injured
by refusing to speak in specifics.

I am sidelined
while watching people die
on our streets, in our cages.

I am wounded
and from the edge of the fire
I can feel the heat rising.

If I still had a memory
I might recall a time
when we were winning

but now I only have
the moment, and in the moment
a Hail Mary pass is sinking

from its apogee toward a spot
where no one is waiting
to catch it and run it in to score.

I hate sports metaphors,
to be honest, the two sides
they paint into our lives;

the night and day narrative
that refuses to see the reality of dawn 
and dusk, or the distant existence

of midnight sun in other places
not within their purview; yet I cannot help
but think of winning and losing today,

imagining someone on another team
jackal-grinning as they prepare
to declare the game over, to proclaim

their victory. And then what?
Do they turn from the field
and leave us here to die?

I cannot say what they are thinking
but what I think is this:
where is the playing field

they have long ignored?
Where is the old wisdom
of a game they cannot play?

Where are those
they have never dreamed
of confronting?

We are something else,
something they’ve forgotten,
people they do not know.

They do not know us, the people 
of the dusk, the dawn,
the littoral, the interstitial 

spaces, the neither,
the either, the holy
and resilient in-between;

and what
they cannot fully know,
they cannot ever utterly defeat.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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