Thomas B. White

Overload #31

Three New Poems

The Faltering Circus

One foot shuffling
in front of another
without,their children
hope, falling: wobbly
like on a tight rope,
poised on knotty
varicose veins,
hovering above
the breathlessly
erect crowd
where every
spectator in
this faltering
circus is finally
a performer.

A Walking Tour

“All sorrows can be borne
if we put them into a story”
– Isak Dinesen

My guide book tells me
that terrible plagues once
visited this medieval city.
Yet today it still seems
diseased, the old stained
walls gone leprous with
smeared circus posters
streaming rains have
melted into red and
orange running blisters,
a perfect exile for a
modern Job seeking
to camouflage his
own sores with words.

Last Man Off The Bench

As if in a nightmare,
fleeing a stalker with
good defensive skills,
the last man comes
off the bench: his Nikes
have broken wings,
feeling like boots
slogging through
oil or mud. Too
skinny to be in the
game, a pathetic stick
figure, his crippled
hookshot kills a fly
on the top of the
backboard. Trying
to escape a slow
motion replay from
which there is no escape,
his belly turns to
jelly, his legs to lead:
“rebounding” means
he cannot escape
the laws of gravity
or the leap of fear.

Sports is a metaphor
for life: some of us
should never have
made the team.

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