An old athlete’s lament

By Royden McCoag in Poetry & Literature

Oh, the night was white and snowy, and the wind a little blowy
When the cops shut down old highway twenty-one
But me and Sal and Mort were playing hockey in the Port
And we didn’t know a blizzard had begun.

Well, after a beer, or three, Sal tapped me on the knee
And said, “We netter be a truckin’ to the north.”
So we staggered to the Ford, threw our sticks and gear aboard,
Waved adieu, and bravely sallied forth.

And we weren’t a bit afraid when I drove ‘round the barricade
With all four wheels locked into power drive.
Then we bucked from pole to pole, with Southampton home and goal
While the radio blared out a country jive.

Yet, we might have turned about when we hit the first white-out
If we could’a seen a place to make a yuwee
For white spears were comin’ fast and stickin’ to the glass
And the wiper blades were getting’ slow and gooey.

But, I’ll never reason how we all failed to see that plow
With its beacon beam and halogens a gleamin’
Yet we hit the blade dead on and I thought we all were gone
Or at least I hoped we were all dreamin’.

Now, I’m sittin’ here in jail, while my wife is raisin’ bail
For they tell me I blew one point three or four.
But Sal and Mort are fine—didn’t have to walk no line—
And haven’t got a cut or bruise or sore.

But my trucks a total wreck and the plow crew’s mad as heck
And the adjuster won’t give me the time of day.
‘Cause my insurance’s null and void and the courts I can’t avoid
For reckless drivin’ on a closed off Queen’s Highway.

Yes, my license bin suspended, and my hockey season’s ended
And my winter drivin’ record’s hit a glitch
But, we’re glad to be alive and in four weeks, or five
We’ll have the season opener for slow pitch.