It’s Day One of NaPoWriMo!*
Today’s prompt: “write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances.
An odd game, dodge ball.
I learned to play as a child,
in a windowless, cramped gymnasium
that smelled inexplicably like old wet dogs and
Unless I missed the finer nuances,
the gist of the game is hit or be hit.
Two teams at opposite ends of the court race to the center line
to acquire as many weapons — er, bouncy balls – as they can,
return to their respective territories.
then lob their missiles indiscriminately at one another.
You try to get out of the way or, if you can,
catch a missile and shoot it back at the enemy team.
Once hit by a ball, you’re “out”
and spend the remainder of the game
on the sidelines.
When all of one team’s players are “out,”
the other team wins.
I have learned, over time, that
the real way to win at dodge ball is to choose
not to play anymore.