Modified on a Cocktail Napkin

My Quarterback arrives
eighteen years too late.
I played Left Tackle;
poorly watched his blind side.
Here at the gin mill
I can defend him even less.
It's every man for himself
and the ball's knocked loose
for a fumble--
as it always has been
though they never told us.

He leaves before I can buy him a drink
to apologize for those sacks I let slip.
There were a lot.
I wonder if he still gets headaches.
I watch him ascend the staircase
but can't recall which number
he wore between his shoulder blades.

Eighteen more years
and the squandered college funds
of the kids we'll never 
put on the field.
One of these days
we'll laugh about it.
Until then there's the tonic.

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