The wide receiver does his best to deceive.
A head jerk to the left, a hip to the right, a
bump off the defensive end, a turn and fake
on the safety.
Then man-on-man down field with the cornerback
practically snapping at his heels like a turtle.
He accelerates, as does his living shadow.
He cuts toward the sideline, so does his opponent.
Thirty yards behind them the quarterback has
spotted the target, lifted his arm, and with secure grip
throws the football like a missile at an unseen enemy.
The ball spirals forward cutting air as it rises, hurtles
toward the target and descends to outstretched arms.
The defender also reaching upward and forward with
one hand, tugs the receiver’s jersey with the
the other, hoping a referee does not see the infraction.
Just behind the line of scrimmage the quarterback has been
leveled by a charging defender and lays smothered.
Underneath the weighty bulk of the linebacker, the quarterback
cannot see the results of his efforts, but the cheering tells him.
The ball has landed in the receiver’s arms; the defender has failed
and his one hand cannot hold the speeding receiver.
The defender slips to the ground and the receiver races to
the end zone; no one close enough to deter him.
The crowd, on its feet, cheers and while the quarterback,
still on his back, issues a small smile of satisfaction, the
receiver wiggles a victory dance and flips the football to a
“TD Pass” appeared in
King of the Jungle, Poems by Zvi A. Sesling
(Ibbetson Street Press, 2010)