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Leaves of Turf: Ode on a Punt Return

Leaves of Turf is a game-by-game, season-long series of football verse by TWER poet lAUreate Amorak Huey. His first poem can be found here, his second here, his third here, his fourth here.

Game 5 vs. Louisiana-Monroe, Oct. 2, 2010

Ode on a Punt Return

Did you know some teams consider the punt return
A viable offensive weapon? Stop laughing in scorn,
It’s true. In fact, I’ve quite recently learned

It’s possible even to score on such a play.
Perhaps our coaches think it unsporting, or maybe they
Prefer to get our touchdowns the old-fashioned way –

With an enormous, fleet-footed quarterback on the run.
A thought: Maybe Newton should be the one
Returning punts. Who needs rest? Could it be done?

Look, I have nothing against Quindarius Carr.
He just doesn’t seem to run the ball all that far.
When “at least he didn’t fumble” is the bar

We’ve set, it seems we could aim a little higher.
Of course, the blocking hasn’t set the world afire.
Our special teams aren’t offering much to admire.

I hate to complain, and I know the team is 4-0,
But there’s a whole bunch of season left to go,
At some point we’re going to need, well, more.

Field position is beauty, beauty field position –
That is all you know, and all you need to know to win.

Amorak Huey didn’t go to Auburn, but he did have a fake Auburn ID so he could sit in the Jordan-Hare student section throughout his college years. A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Amorak spent fifteen years as a newspaper reporter and editor at papers in Florida, Kentucky and Michigan. Two years ago, he left his job as assistant sports editor at The Grand Rapids Press to take a position teaching writing at Grand Valley State University. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Western Michigan University, and his poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals. He lives in East Grand Rapids, Mich., with his wife and two children. You can find him online at www.amorakhuey.net.

About Amorak Huey

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