Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ode to Lynette Woodard

by Michael Ceraolo

She was a legend back in the day,
a day
when almost no one saw her play,
a day
before games were routinely televised,
before they were written about in the sporty pages,
before there were professional possibilities
available in her native land

                                           And
so she moved on,
                           establishing
a new non-sports-related career
                                                with
the same excellence she expressed on the court
                                                                           Until . . .

Until
a professional league was created
                                                     and
the siren song of competition
was too strong for her to resist

                                                And
so she tore herself away
from her non-playing career
to test herself against players
little more than half her age,
                                           and
what could bring that about
other than love of the game

                                            But
time had eroded,
                          though
not worn away completely,
her once-considerable skills,
                                           leaving
the audience thankful
                                 for the occasional glimpse
                                                                         of her past greatness,
                                                                                                          yet
at the same time sad,
sad that no record remained of her prime,
a prime that had been played
behind the gender line-----

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