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, his fifth here, his sixth here, his seventh here, his eight here, his ninth here, his tenth here.
This week’s installment is in the manner of Robert Burns (Kodi’s Scottish great-great-great-great grandfather?).
To a Bulldog
On the Possibility of Running Over Him with an Orange and Blue Plow, November 2010
Game 11 vs. Georgia, November 13, 2010
Wee, sleek, cowering, timorous beast,
O, what panic in your drool!
You need not woof and whine
As you flee the Plains.
We promise not to chase you
With our mighty offensive weapons.
We’re sorry if this hurts,
But this is not the week to play here.
The ugly side of this corrupt game
Is mucking up our joyride
And we need to take it out on someone –
Don’t take it personally.
It’s true we owe you
For the past four years
Of unfortunate outcomes,
But still. What’s going to happen
Saturday might seem out of proportion –
We detest LSU and Florida
(And now Mississippi State),
Plus of course the Tide,
But ours has always been
A somewhat more dignified rivalry
(If you don’t count that one time with the hoses).
Your season started like ours –
Full of confidence
Despite plenty of unknowns.
Now we’re about to leave
Your bowl hopes in shambles
A bleak offseason’s winds are coming.
But Bulldog, you are not alone
In understanding how optimism can go wrong.
The best laid plans of Dawgs and Tigers
Often go askew,
As title dreams turn sour amid defeat
And – just say it – NCAA inquiries.
So as we take the field this week,
We hope you understand
This is the only place we’re in control –
We know not what the next ESPN exclusive holds,
But between these sidelines we know how to score, and win.
Just try to stay out of our way, okay?
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.