Lacrosse League and Cats

Eric Torgersen

 

THE CENTRAL MICHIGAN MEN’S OVER SIXTY WOODEN STICK LACROSSE LEAGUE   

  

declines, with good reason,

to come into being,

but who will deny me

this vision?

                                                          

At attack,

the indigenous

warriors of baggataway 

who under the guise of a contest

stormed the British garrison

at Michilimackinac

and slaughtered all inhabitants

but the French.         

                                                    

At midfield, the tireless

marathon runners

of Ethiopia.

 

On defense

the poets—

if they guard, tough as teeth,

the American tongue—

and my captain, Walt Whitman,

you.

 

In goal, in the charmed

circle of the crease,

my father—

inviolable

by rage and love alike.

 

And if so

then surely one day

me also, his inheritor.

 

 

 

 

CATS

 

The caged panther pacing

Rilke’s poem

is dead at the heart. 

 

Rilke loved walking

barefoot on grass

and “air baths,” the fashionable

nudistry of the day,

but above these the museums, zoos,

botanical gardens

of his old Europe’s great cities. 

 

The young panther caged

where the hunger artist died

is radiant with life-force,

hence terrible to Kafka,

but its prospects are poor. 

 

For my poem the cougars

that stalk now, I’m told,

the Sleeping Bear Dunes

National Lakeshore,

right here.   

 

Eric Torgersen teaches at Central Michigan University. His most recent books are Dear Friend: Rainer Maria Rilke and Paula Modersohn-Becker (Northwestern UP) and Inside Unity House: The John-Paul Story (March Street Press), a chapbook-length poem.
 

Photo Courtesy of morgueFile.

 

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Poems Copyright © 2006 Eric Torgersen. All rights reserved.