Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Ode to Zdeno Chara" by Kevin Devaney

Editor's note: This was written by Kevin Devaney, a friend of mine who was inspired when I brought him to a preseason game. And people say those games are pointless...

Aries and Poseidon once took a half drunk road trip north
for a frost sprite gangbang
the child, they name “Zdeno.” But something happens,
the boy is colder than, more ferocious,
than others. He grows to a man and receives
the gifts of his fathers’.
Aries, throws him a bowstaff, titanium
and flatten headed labeled Easton and two 15 inch blades.
Poseidon gives a zamboni.
The arena, he finds on his own,
when he is ready, thunder in his chest
known, and born, of gods.

11 pm. November 18th 1984
“Old Time Rock N’ Roll” thumps out of speakers because
Will Murry is turning 40.
Jean Devaney “dances”
as much as one can, sober,
with a three year old daughter asleep next door,
and belly all out with me.
There’s a pillow in the car. Someone shouts
over the music, “When are you having the baby?”
and the music that just soothes the soul soothes on.

Sometimes, I think I can hear that song in my sleep,
as I imagine Zdeno can hear the slick slice of skates, that tower
of a man. At six foot nine, the tallest to ever play in the NHL,
he’s still better known for his fights. Just ask Bryan McCabe.

For years before my parents had children
they lived in California.
I have a photograph of my mother from back then,
bandana in her hair and
she’s smiling like the sea behind her
couldn’t exist without it,
like she had shifted things, swayed if not built
by her power. It was a carefree smile that
I didn’t see much of as a kid when
for days she was a Diana
her body a taut bow
because that’s what it takes to raise kids like me.
Zedeno, we were born to be two different types of titans.

11:45 pm. November 19th 1984
There was what they called
a natural birth.
“not even a frigin’ baby asprin,”
my mom describes it today.
That night was the first time
she and I disagreed .

Bless the rage of your fathers, Chara,
you have pushed ice with their gifts
until it yielded immortality,
Zdeno, professional, your peers call you fear,
but do you close your eyes, ever, and think
of your mother?

Yes, if you write poetry about the Bruins (or team USA or hockey in general, really), I will put it on the blog. Within reason.