A free-verse poem about watching four-year-old children playing soccer.
|Driving past a field filled
with undersized players
decked out in complete uniforms
hurrying after an undersized
soccer ball, little legs flailing
to send the ball toward the goal,
I stop to watch.
Coaches and proud parents
point and shout instructions,
large smiles filling their faces
at the players’ antics.
Two teams of four-year-olds
mill about in pursuit of a goal
or defense against such
on that end of the field.
I turn my attention to the far
end of the playing field.
A small girl, bored with guarding
her team’s unchallenged goal
from absent activity, sits
amidst the goal, carefully plucking
flowering heads from small weeds.
Her coach yells for her to stand
and remain on guard,
ready to defend the goal …
but she turns her back
and picks another “flower”
for her collection.
A boy is sent to defend the goal.
He is diligent … for a minute or two.
Then he sits and becomes an ally
in picking “flowers” from the field,
unconcerned about the flurry
of effort at the far end of the field.
I drive on smiling at the wisdom
of four-year-old soccer players.
Adults all too soon forget
the joy of picking flowers
along their journey through life.
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