Linda Scheller

The Game at 41

These Monday through Friday lives
take flight on weekends,
regularly scheduled euphoria
lifting us and holding us aloft.
A dozen varied strangers
from the orchards and classrooms,
hospitals and canneries
wear the same color over different skin
and understand what few can know—
the occasional bruise or twisted ankle,
the sweat and exhaustion
only make the resting sweeter,
the mud and rain
proof that we live

and when we make the perfect pass,
trap the ball descending from the sky
with one foot,
steal it from a headlong opponent,
run and dart, weave with the ball
rolling ahead and send it
curving into the net
just past their goalie’s reaching hands

our bodies speak,
hearts drumming thunder
and nostrils wide,
eyes scanning the churned field.