Doak Walker


At a point slightly northeast of the goal,

barely outside the ivy-covered stadium,

is a circle that brick walks converge upon

from four directions. The walkways are lined

with long and wide rows of almost red bougainvillea

and deep purple pansies. Scarlet and blue,

the sun and the sea, create the way

to this circle, this pedestal, this Doric Parthenon,

this statue of the great Doak Walker, poet in place.

He is leaning to his right, right foot on the field,

left knee bent to put his foot at some point

where a would-be tackler could hazard

a guess as to its next coming. No one

can be just like him, but many would be content

to be the chalice ball he holds and feel the wind

in his swinging arms, would be tacklers,

helmeted warriors sweeping by, bowing to tackle,

paying homage to the spondaic substitutions

of his rhythmic feet in motion. The wind

from Olympus, whispers his next step.