The Odds


by Teresa Cader

We watch TV from bed, on satin sheets.
The hockey game is a dead heat;
our team will not relinquish hope despite
the dismal odds. By midnight
the score gets worse, cramped muscles fail,
the lines get slack, the coaches rail
against the referees, and time is running out.
But champions are made without
the normal fear of loss, and ours slog
on with bloodied shins and pockets clogged
with ice. Desperate, we run the clock ourselves:
we scallop, fillip, sweep then delve,
we burrow, borrow, bellow, bless,
rend, render, root without rest.

Teresa Cader is the author of two collections of poems: (1991) and to be published next month.

The Atlantic Monthly; October 1998; The Odds; Volume 282, No. 4; page 96.

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