AFTER JERRY KRAMER

To be there in that moment,

blood & sweat freezing

to skin—elbows & shins

bruised, swollen—the turf

hard as stone—you

crouching, feet measured

by feet right & left,

legs spread shoulder width—

twisting cleats, digging in,

finding that bite,

then dropping to position,

chest parallel to the ground,

head up, butt down,

weight evenly distributed

in the three point stance,

fingers & knuckles numb—eyes

level, focused, unwavering—

knowing this is your time

& showing nothing, neither the halt

nor the leap in your heartbeat

as the mountain in front of you moves

where you want it to go,

gives you the angle,

the leverage you need

to explode at the snap,

create that gap for the stars

to shine on blue collar guys—

those unshaven fat-asses

buried in the trenches,

the insignificant nameless freaks,

the ones who up until this moment,

the image of your block,

were but the obscure

Zen monks of football.

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