Treasure Island

Tom J. Mariani

(January 1948 / San Francisco, CA)

Playing Hurt


Personally I never had
To play that hard
Flag football
Did not require

Taping of wrists ankles ribs
Mouth-pieces knee braces
Post game ice packs
Help getting up

And out of bed
The next morning
Shake it off
Back to practice

Our daughter played basketball
First co-ed Boys/Girls club then
Through her second year
At the local junior college

Class scheduling wasn't easy
Away games post season play-offs
San Francisco Sacramento
Berkeley Modesto

Not easy to get in the classes
Needed for her major
Add twenty-two hours a week
As a grocery store clerk

Now you got
A tough schedule
Playing hurt
No big deal

So she told me
Taped up
Mouth piece in
Ready to play

Now married
Buying their first home
Teaching sixth graders
Still a tough schedule

I remember a phone call
From her from Sac State
A month into
Her junior year

Except for intermurals
She decided not to play
To fit in the classes she needed
Laughing she admitted

'Dad, I never realized
How good it would feel
To wake up without
Something hurting.'

Submitted: Sunday, November 04, 2007
Edited: Friday, April 22, 2011

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Comments about this poem (Playing Hurt by Tom J. Mariani )

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  • John Nightingale (1/11/2008 12:27:00 AM)

    I'm surprised that this is/was the norm. We have a relatively non-competitive sporting structure at UK schools / colleges / uni's. That is when any sporting activities are available at all. Explains why we aren't any good. (Report) Reply

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