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The Sandy Eubank Memorial Prize, Spring 2013
Brian Slusher
Losing Season
Walking the track, I find a cheap silver
earring and wonder how it fits into
the narrative of some girl’s life, which
reminds me how I once asked a coach
Which stays with you longer, the wins
or losses? And his head bowed into
a slow earthquake of shakes No No
No No, and I understood. As a child
I owned a Chicago Cubs cap that
stayed as fixed to my head as the
dome of my skull. It vanished on a
camping trip, and I wore the feeling
of that hat for weeks after, and still
wonder where it ended up. To my left
broods the football field the local team
uses to rehearse their defeats, 0-5 so far
and how do they stand it? The ball
smacking off the receiver’s hand and
spinning like a roulette wheel into the
opposing lineman’s surprised clutch.
Perhaps it’s time to admit our position
is untenable, we’re completely
surrounded with the lines of supply
cut. Yet there’s the lady with her
greyhound, a creature designed by
Death, only bones and a spear-point snout
sharp as the canines that pierce the
throat of the kill. She unleashes and
says Phoebe, go! and faster than
thought that dog is gone, lost in the
freedom of speed, infinity whistling in
her ears, probably like the sound of
a cheering crowd, the confetti of
Autumn leaves settling gently in
her wake, as I walk on, pocket my
white flag for another day.

©2013 Brian Slusher