Game, contest, conflict, battle
same as twenty-odd times before this year
yet radically different all the same.
Studying, taping, stretching, psyching
familiar prep work but the stage is ultimate
performed before a chosen few while beamed worldwide.
Introspective, passion, elation, mortification
the full buffet of emotions braced by a well-stocked bar
sampled by the fervently devoted along side the mildly amused.
Clash, quiet, regroup, reengage
Arbitrated by seven with an overseeing eye
inevitable blind spots give rise to continued controversy.
Silence, screaming, praying, cursing
a full exchange of verbal darts and hard currency
among close friends, acquaintances, and perfect strangers.
Crack back, leg whip, horse-collar, spear
pain dispensed purely by accident or with malicious intent
valid substitute for war if only for universal consent.
Stillness, eruption, glory, despair
an exalted victor rises while the vanquished foe falls
as prescribed by the law of sport written by man.
Cash, credit, barter, gift
comes with a price as all things valued
payment in full by purse, wallet, body and soul.
With grateful thanks to a passing morning muse