Friday, December 9, 2011


The metal double doors slam open into the cavernous room
thirty boys, thirteen year-olds charge out on to the floor
the goose flesh on their spindly legs
shorts and t-shirts stiff with dried sweat
worn again and again, seldom washed, the smell,
the squeak of running shoes
jocks and non-jocks
the ones running and those standing
arms around our middles to ward off the cold
a whistle and everyone starts to run up and down the floor
a sudden stop, turn around and run back
some boys seem to be able to keep this on forever
the rest of us are gasping after two rounds
the fit and the non-fit
some mouths smiling, others cannot be opened wide enough
there is not enough oxygen in this room to ease our torment
we hate this
another whistle and we’re divided into teams
balls magically appear
more running
balls bouncing passed then shot upwards
the hoops, the nets
most shots are missed then more running
the opposite direction
shouts of “here, here”
by now we’re bending over gasping
while others keep running and shouting
“how do they do that?”
now for the worst part
a whistle “off to the showers”
clothes come off, nakedness
the snickers, those with hair
and those without

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