Hearing my Dad/Coach in my corner
By Gary Kinzer
The only place I’ve ever seen time standing still is in a circle of foam. There were several people that brought me there, more than two in my corner in spirit. Paused, one in mid air. There is one voice that I could hear, an amalgam of past conversations in tune with my heart thump-thump.
She watched me through a camera lens, capturing the memories, chanting whatever moms chant when they watch their boy become a man. Knees jerking, camera shaking, tripod no match for the echo, thump-thump.
He was out there with me, his mustache quivered as he yelled things I couldn’t hear between my own echoes and a Morgan headgear. He never wrestled in high school, but he wrestled every match I did, his heart in tune with mine. Thanks Dad, thump-thump.
They focused intently watching the set-up become a double. They had felt it more than anyone, the team, my family. We swapped sweat and stories en route to gold men standing tall on wooden platforms or circles of metal that bounced on our sternum, thump thump.
They didn’t want chairs, the small remainder of hair became disheveled as they pulled moves on each other hoping I’d see. A half when he hit the mat, grab a wrist, get on toes. Squeeze. Thump-thump.
It was lonely on the mat, but I was never alone. Though I didn’t hear them calling, I heard them inside. They were the heartbeat I marched to in March all alone. If I am quiet, I can still hear them calling, thump-thump.