Michael Philips

Instructions For Cheerleaders - Poem by Michael Philips

When a player goes down,
Drop to your knees and lower your head.
Place pom poms to one side and raise crossed fingers.
When player stands and is helped off field,
Stand, clap, shout.
Jump like petals thrown at weddings,
Lift wings and soar blind and directionless
over farmland and railroad tracks
pregnant with the mescaline trumpet
of the speedball train that is
surely approaching.
Show teeth.

On Sunday in church
Genuflect, lower your head,
Place pom poms to one side,
Cross your fingers.
When sermon is over,
Imagine cheering.
Imagine trains laden with coal and steel
plowing into the sky,
bursting through cumulous walls
As if gravity were only a theory.
Show teeth.

Comments about Instructions For Cheerleaders by Michael Philips

  • (10/3/2005 11:13:00 AM)

    i like this one, alot, Michael. interesting and fresh analogy. poems like these really make me wonder how they were conceived.

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  • (10/3/2005 10:14:00 AM)

    Hope you showed this to your cheerleader daughter, Mike. There's some important stuff here, particularly telling her that even cheerleaders can bring their energy to church, same as to a football game. I love it, remembering my own daughter as a cheerleader and long ago when I, too, was one. (cheerleaders can be poets and physical therapists, as is the case in our family.) This is very well done...and welcome back!

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  • (10/3/2005 7:28:00 AM)

    the mescaline trumpet, and pregnant with it no less... this is fresh and crisply done. thanks for this one. salut. (Report) Reply

  • (10/3/2005 7:00:00 AM)

    the mere mention of cheerleaders in church and I, I, i..... (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, October 3, 2005

Poem Edited: Monday, October 3, 2005

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