Winners by Default

Poetry by | October 19, 2008

Eight of us are waiting on a sun-whitened basketball court.
We’ve already warmed up and now we’re getting cold.
The game should’ve started fifteen minutes ago,
and fifteen minutes more, we’ll be winners by default.
The audience is impatiently waiting,
crowding themselves under the acacia tree,
evading the sunbeams from touching their skin,
fanning their faces with brown cardboards.
We have plans: one will always leak after the shot,
to defend on one end or to spark a break on offense.
One will pin down the point guard,
He’ll become a leech, sticking his body on the target.
One will always double the post play, to force perimeter shots.
All of us we’ll run and gun.
Fluffy clouds cover the sun and darken the court,
And our opponents still had not yet arrived.
The referee stands up from napping on a bamboo chair.
He says we’re winners by default.
The crowd completely fades and so does our warmth.
We have won because our opponents did nothing.
We also did nothing.
We did not win.
We just had no one to lose to.

—-
Jasper Nikki de la Cruz is a senior writing student at UP Mindanao.

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