Matthew Francis Casuga, 17, Grandchild #3
Matthew Francis with two friends from St. Joseph's Catholic Secondary School. No, they do not play football.
WATCHING NUMBER SIXTY EIGHT
(For Matthew, Grandchild # 3, On His Football Debut)
Was it a random number, Matthew?Or did you choose to call attention
to your grandmother’s 68th birthday?
Why not the next naughty number?
She peered through her Leica camerabut could not see you nor make you out
among those sweaty gnashing giants
who could have been the drooling babies
not so long ago. She yelped out a gasp
of delighted surprise when she espied you
on the zoom: How do you zoom on his face?
Zoom in on, I lisped a feigned idiot’s shrug.
From afar, she could still see a puling boywho could not even throw a ball. She yelled:
Omigod, look at him barrel through that lad
blocking his run! He would hurt the boy
or get himself broken! It sounded like a sob.
I could not help but look for the mayhemI came to watch his football debut for:
Who will dare bump him? My little boy,
all bulked up, war-primed, brute strong,
could throw a pigskin to God knows where.
Oooh yes, pitch the first blocking body, too.
“Bloody idiot”, he would snap a growl, a snarl,
really. But if he were within hearing distance,
she would upbraid him: Matthew Francis,
language! He would snicker but curl away.
She watched him through tear-stained lenses,and stifled a cry: My little boy. A big man now.
Strange. At sixty-eight, I, too, felt old and weak.
---ALBERT B. CASUGARevised, o6-13-2014
09-21-11: When he was 14, Matthew Francis Casuga, third eldest grandchild, was an instant choice by a drooling coach when he applied for his high school’ s football team. A little while ago, he was just our little boy who would weep at the sight of a fly on his arm.