Jennifer A. McGowan: a poem

Photograph by Tom McKinnell


Gold Metal Match, Ice Hockey, 1980


None of us was a team player.

We were rehearsing for something

no one remembers.

Somebody brought a boom-box.

Gradually we gravitated to the sounds –

puck, slap, cheer, indrawn breath –

pulling up cafeteria chairs, silent,

close-kit, with huddled shoulders.

Staring at the radio as if

the game really mattered,

or the weird sport, or our fears,

or anything that wasn't

fourteen of us together

as we had never been

and never would be again.


Jennifer A. McGowan’s latest pamphlet, Still Lives with Apocalypse, won the Prole Pamphlet Competition this year. She’s a professional calligrapher and illuminator, is disabled, and prefers the fifteenth century to the twenty-first.