Sure, you remember him, class of ’72,

varsity cheerleader, second from the right,

a nickname for everyone, a “Lefty” and a “Speedo”,

quarterback’s best friend, head of his class,

in cassock and surplus at Sunday mass


He drove the red ‘Bird, white walls and T-top,

balloons on his fenders, streamers on the doors,

shouting, “Pile in, Shorty” and “Hop on, Harv,”

there in the yearbook, homecoming parade,

bow tie and megaphone, leading the cavalcade


Every ball that cut a hoop, every jock that scored,

he’d whistle through his teeth,

jump four feet and finish with a split,

buy you a beer and call you pal,

curse the referee, swear it was a foul


The alumni loved him, a campus man,

pipe in one hand, banner in the other,

cartwheels down the sidelines, fist in the air,

chanting, “Give me an O,” and “Rah rah Ray,”

and “Let’s go team,” and “Whaddya say”


After the school song, he’d wipe away tears,

vow to do justice to the blue and the gold,

march to the drums of promise and hope;

stayed a year extra, just couldn’t let go

of his team, of his school, of being gung ho


He majored in pluck, graduated to sales,

to a wife named Marlene and her boyfriend, Jack

She didn’t play fair and thought him a fool

so he stuck to bowl games, golf and the court,

poker on weekends as a last resort



Now it’s Sunday night and he roams the remote,

tennis rained out, roundball in L.A.

He leaps until midnight, tosses until dawn

Waking on the sofa he doesn’t yet know

what’s left to cheer on a; screen of snow