Paper Football


Like a child playing paper football
You flicked me through the handmade goal at which you were aiming.
I was happy to be folded by your fingers
into a crisp little triangle.
We were working together towards a win, a final point.
And when you became coach, I paid no mind.
It was all for our team.

We once played paper dolls
and you chose all my little outfits.
That was fine, you always had a more particular eye.

And when the games ended I would walk you home,
up the block, up the hill.
I didn’t mind. You did the hard stuff: the planning,
imagining the worlds, gaving me names, and I
played along.

When the game ended this time and I skidded onto the floor
rather than flying through the goal,
you ran yourself home–
up the block, up the hill–and I
waited, until someone else came
and swept me away.


more A. M. LAINE

photograph by Xochi Romero

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