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Manuel Escobar

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Remember Manuel Escobar?
He coached us in our teens,
and trained us in Point Pleasant Park,
in sandals, wearing jeans.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Remember how he’d say something
like “. . . beef behind that ball!”
and captains would translate this as,
“Just win the game – that’s all”?

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Remember, that one season, dreaming,
when we beat Donair,
how he’d show up at each match, beaming,
gliding, as on air?

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Remember how he’d make us work
much more when we passed women,
as if his acting like a jerk
would rule us out and him in?

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Remember how he’d make up ways
to sprint us in the sand
at Black Rock Beach to leave impressions
training was half-planned?

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 Remember in the last half hour:
backwards, Cable Hill,
gasping by Martello Tower,
nothing left but will?

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Remember how he’d always stay
until the last was done,
then, no matter how you ran that day,
he’d say, “Good run”?

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Remember Manuel Escobar?
He coached us in our teens,
and trained us in Point Pleasant Park,
in sandals, wearing jeans.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 Although those times seem long ago,
he wasn’t my age then,
and if I’ve had a good run since,
I’d run for him again.

4

Notes

Inspired by a great man and coach from whom I learned much in the 1980’s with Scotia Olympics, Halifax, Nova Scotia. I will make a special effort to watch the matches of Honduras this World Cup with exhortations that they put some ‘beef behind that ball!’

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/manuel-escobar/