Football with My Dad by Stan Galloway

My father used to take me
to the football games,
to see the local team.
We didn’t talk much,
but I still recall the sunburns that I got
because I wouldn’t ever wear
the hat he brought for me.
And I remember several times
the snow that made the game
seem like a fairyland.
We rarely got the food –
we were too poor – and likely
we’d have never seen the game at all,
if Daddy hadn’t gotten
passes from his work.
I didn’t really like to watch the game.
I went because I like to see
my father happy,
and I knew if our team won,
he’d smile.
Most of all,
the thing that I remember best
was when we’d score,
he’d pick me up
and loft me in the air
like a balloon
and catch me.
Later, when I’d grown too big to toss,
he’d hug me
and we’d slap our hands up high.
That’s why I went –
to celebrate with Dad
in one small way he understood –
to feel his hug, our hands
connecting us across the years.


About the Author:

Stan Galloway teaches writing and literature at Bridgewater College in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he likes to see sunsets and moonrises (but not so much the other way around). He was nominated Best of the Net in 2011 and 2012. He has had more than 80 poems appear online and in print. His chapbook Abraham is available from Sierra Delta Press. His full-length collection, Just Married, is forthcoming from unbound CONTENT. He has also written a book of literary criticism, The Teenage Tarzan (McFarland 2010), which shows his brain can move in more than one direction.