by Natalie Perman

“people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.”
– Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird


pencil ready

     pencil suit at your


first training camp 

     where you learned to carry the 


ball on the tip of your foot

      just as the tip of your ballpoint


pen ran the page;

      ran the paper pitch


to the score of
     102 words        102 games.



a homage to home 

      that cheered in 33s 


the tension of a calf 

      the pain of your yansh


crumpled paper cheers

      from stands; the 


lone echo of 

      How Far?


from a hand that waves 

      as your own.



they measure the length of your legs

      the power of your kick 


they call 

      stay on your feet 


they try       

      to tackle you in the  


net of MPs mouths; order

      man to man marking 


and legislation

      that leaves 


                                     your sole defender.