absorbs a billion people world wide --
and I who avoid sport events
except for Olympic swimming
find myself hooked on world cup soccer
gold shoes, a cream and golden leather ball --
the glittering gold phallas when it’s over,
gorgeous men kissing it, jumping, dancing
long waving crowd songs.
I hardly understand the game
but watch, fascinated by the pageant.
Zinedine Zidane -- "Le Monde"
calls him "une icône française" --
head butts an opponent
during the second overtime
and gets kicked out of the game.
He is 34,
has said this will be his last game,
was injured in the first minutes,
again two thirds through,
so maybe he was tired of hurting.
Maybe he threw the game
maybe he wanted the world
to know France couldn't win
Why would a world class athlete
intentionally get thrown out
of a world cup championship game?
Possibly he wanted something more
than he wanted to win --
Even if he just lost his temper --
maybe it was a racist remark, or worse --
intentionally, or not,
at the height of what a world
class soccer player can hope to achieve,
Zinedine Zidane walked
away from the biggest win
in the world,
as if there were something more important
as if one billion people in the world
could imagine that..
Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.
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