Coach says, your legs, your feet
will only get you so far, says, blazing
down the sidelines isn’t much good
without the prize in your fingertips,
says, you need quick hands, and eyes
always on the ball, so he’s got you
on your back, arms at your sides,
palms flat to the ground
(only you aren’t allowed to lift them,
except when there’s a ball
nearby), and he stands at your feet,
tosses the pigskin at your chest
(only it’s never where it should be,
the way it is with you being anywhere,
even out there on the field),
and your hands fly up
like hungry birds of prey, like falcons,
maybe, with all that quick in their feathers,
rising up from a dive
(opposite the way that’s in their nature),
just in time to seize, thumbs
always in toward the numbers.