My head was squeaking when I was walking
Welsh rugby player Jamie Roberts describing playing
against Australia, unaware he had fractured his skull
If I may say so, it's a pretty dumb
way to spend your Saturdays, although
I did it in my youth (a rugby scrum
is better than testosterone alone),
crushing other's testicles, my nose,
a collar bone, an elbow and my jaw –
wired-shut for several months, you get to know
which chicken soup will clog a drinking straw.
But your description led me to recall
his birth when, after hours between her hips,
his head compressed to the shape of a rugby ball,
he slithered out, a stretched smile on his lips
as though he'd heard the squeaks of mice or rats
before he felt the first of many slaps.
Lew Watts is originally from Wales and, after many years in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, now lives in Santa Fe and Chicago in the US. His most recent work has appeared in 14by14, Able Muse, Decanto, Modern Haiku, The Raintown Review and Orbis amongst others, and his first collection Lessons for Tangueros–about the experience of learning to dance tango–was published in 2011.