For Love Of The Game

For Love Of The Game


she walks in

out of the cold air and

sits down on the dusty,

wooden floor

sliding her sock-covered


into her new,

bright yellow



she greets old friends

that she hasn’t seen

since last summer.


they walk to the middle

of the basketball court


they aren’t there

to play basketball.

They are there–

balls at their feet,

mouths curled up into grins–

to play futsal,

a form of

the most universal sport

in the world.

Other girls arrive

and the coach

splits everyone up


two teams.


The girl jogs

to claim her position,

but not before sharing

a knowing look with

her friend–

who is,

of course,

on the other team.


Soon the room

grows quiet

but for the sound

of panting breath,

feet pounding on the ground,

the ball skidding on the floor,

and the occasional

exclamation of encouragement

from one teammate

to another.


All of their worries are forgotten

as they play,

as they play for

love of the game.


The girl feels free

as her ponytail whips

with the motion of her body;


running for the ball.


They play for awhile

and once their hearts are full,

full of freedom

and friendship

and futsal…

they leave,

the court suddenly silent again

silent but for the girl,

who turns one last time

to savor the game in her mind–

to store it until seven days are over,

until she will come back

to play

once again.