Age Be Damned

Knees are long since shot

Back moans in protest lifting his weight

There is more white in his beard each day

He should be a body at rest, but all he knows is motion

 

The muscle memory runs deep within his core

Legs, once iron pistons tearing up meters of pitch with everystride

Arms were battering rams; shoving aside torso’s in his wake

Heart, still pounding to a warrior’s beat

 

But like Charon at the Styx, time has taken its fare

Not in coin, but in speed and strength and wind

Young pups nip at his heels

Passes, runs, tackles…all happening almost faster than he can follow

Hits, once dismissed as a light tap, fall as a staggering blow

 

His rational brain says “Stop! Enough! We are done!”

But his warrior spirit is unyielding

Emotions of battles past, of matches won, overwhelm the logical centers of his brain

“Once more” the warrior says as the cleats pull on

“Just this match” he lies, as the jersey slides over him

“We are NOT done yet” he snarls as rationality crumbles

 

He stands on the pitch, staring down an opposition who mirrors his past

His body marked by countless matches, to their paltry few

“They think we are weak” his warrior voice whispers

“We are no threat” he adds with disdain for any who think so

So there he stands as he has hundreds of times before

Brothers on either side of him, bearing their own scars and theweight of time

Challengers wait across the open pitch, they expect an easy win

They are about to be taught a lesson all young pups must learn

Wisdom and experience will triumph every time

The anticipation puts a great-white smile on his face

“Bring it!” screams his warrior heart

Author Credit: Dennis Noonan

Editor: Nathan Payne