The Game

In honor of the great game that addicts everyone it comes in contact with.

Some Folks Call it G-O-L-F
© 2014 by Dominic Spano

In the prime of my life, She brought heartache and strife,
Now I drink and I wonder and worry.
What sort of ingrate would first desecrate
Me, then act as both judge and then jury?

She is only a game that drives me insane
And I'm caught in the grip of Her spell.
But I quickly found out what She's really about,
This torturous prelude of hell.

Lest you think I jest, that I'm merely obsessed,
You'll see, from my sad tale of woe,
That She goaded and baited, then regurgitated
My heart and what's left of my ego.

'Twas on the first tee, from where I could see
The fairway in all of its glory;
And I knew that my drive would run three–oh–five
And I'd play the first nine under forty.

But my shot was a flop, I went over the top
And, like Casey, my hero at bat,
I said to my chum, "my best stuff's to come
And maybe I hit that one fat."

It could not be me, so I looked round to see
What had spoiled my first drive for show.
It was dimpled and round and it sits on the ground
And as white as the wind–driven snow.

Alas, what was worse, it taught me to curse,
And every swing battered my ego.
I yelled and berated, Oh God how I hated
That crafty, though small, dimpled foe.

On a nasty par three, on account of a tree,
I needed to go on offence;
But that white, dimpled thing, on a prayer and a wing,
Ricocheted off the path, through a fence.

An onlooker might think that I was on the brink
Of losing my mind and my wits.
But he'd be mistaken, 'cause I wasn't fakin'
Those shots that were giving me fits.

Depressed and degraded, then inebriated,
I knew this was no tale of woe;
As I previously stated, Oh God how I hated
That nasty though small, dimpled foe.

Then the ball said to me: "Monsieur, don't you see,
'Tis not I but the Game that's to blame.
She beckons and lures, She humbles and skewers,
Then piles on the doubt and the shame."

I paused for a moment, for this game does foment
A spectrum of doubts and of fears.
And there's no denying I've seen grown men crying
Out loud, right in front of their peers.

I quickly caught on that my ball was dead on
When it shifted the blame to the Game;
For no matter the shot, it all seemed for naught,
'Cause all of my shots came up lame.

I went deathly white when my eyes gleaned with fright
What awaited me on the eighth tee.
The fairway looked tough, with plenty of rough
And I prayed 'Lord Almighty, help me!'

'Twas not a good sign when I turned the front nine
Quite a bit over par and then some;
For ten through eighteen would be tough, if not mean,
So I topped up my Coke with some Rum.

Down and deflated, I negotiated
Just how I might finish the round.
But my foe nurtured fears and reduced me to tears
Without uttering nary a sound.

Each one of my drives seemed to harbor nine lives;
But the problem, at least as I saw it,
Was that each of the nine brought its own paradigm
That was hell–bent on making me quit.

And all my approaches told me 'buenas noches',
Each one falling short of the green;
Or they'd land in a bunker where I'd hit a clunker
And even heaven could not intervene.

Hole after hole decimated my goal,
And my score, it continued to rise;
While putt after putt was a kick in my gut
And my card was a bundle of lies.

At the end of my round, I made not a sound,
For my ego, it needed to dwell
On all the excuses for all the abuses
It took on that playground from hell.

I came out of it jaded, beat up and degraded,
And I swore I would never return
To this Game that could only leave me feeling lonely,
Whose lessons I might never learn.

And yet one week later, I no longer could hate Her
And I returned as though nothing had happened.
I guess I'd forgotten how I had felt rotten
And how my demeanor had dampened.

I suppose I'm addicted, though feeling conflicted,
And folks claim She's now my religion.
For I keep going back, taking more of Her flack,
Reminiscent of Prof. Skinner's pigeon.

And right upon cue, my goals I pursue
In this Game that I'm sure I adore.
Now I'm manic–depressive, and I make a mess of
My swing, my esteem and my score.

Forget about tact, let me give you a fact,
Dear Monsieur et ma chère Mademoiselle.
She's haughty and naughty and sometimes quite snotty,
Did I say She's the Game sent from hell?

The setting is prime, the view is sublime,
But gentlefolk, please hear my plea.
Let me be blunt, when read back to front,
This Game is spelled f–l–o–g.

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