Too Long Awake Again

When you’re sleep deprived, you know right away

you’ll be benched the next day, which hurts especially

when the season’s winding down. You know

it’s going to happen because you’ve been there before,

and the moment it starts, you fall into the pattern.

I was there again when the evening unevened

and darkness lurched to hard pitching until morning.

Where were you then? my conscience kept asking,

imagining all those old hopes that rack my brain.

Pacing the deck became so difficult I had to hold

onto the walls and furniture as I tossed about, the waves

washing over me, beating me so I fell finally

into unconsciousness.  When I awoke, I hardly moved,

by game time all I could do was stagger to courtside,

then sink into watching instead of participating,

not even having a chance to play poorly as the seconds

wound down to that time when a better coach would send

all the pining riders in because participation is important.

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