After the Game by Patricia Wellingham-Jones


My best friend Peri
was a little twerp,
I was a young giant.
We both played on the Woodbury

High School basketball team,
she through fervor
and sheer determination,
me solely because of my height.

In the girls bathroom
after our game of the season
with arch-rival Haddonfield
the over-heated, over-excited

losing team – ours –
leaned and towered over Peri.
Like chickens pecking
at a perceived weak one

they criticized, shouted,
blamed her for our loss. Defiant,
tears running down her cheeks,
Peri denied and pointed fingers.

A person of peace,
I couldn’t abide the row,
the unfair charges,
bruised nerve ends, raised hackles.

Astonishing all in the room,
including myself, I flung
my big frame on top
of a washbasin.

I out-yelled the yellers,
waved long arms in the air,
told them they should be ashamed,
pipe down, SHUT UP.

They did. They fumbled for shoes
and towels, left without looking at me.
Peri stood, stunned to silence.
I wondered how to get down.

About the Author: Patricia Wellingham-Jones

PatriciaWellingham-JonesPatricia Wellingham-Jones is a widely published former psychology researcher and writer/editor. She has a special interest in healing writing, with poems recently in The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press). Chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, End-Cycle: poems about caregiving, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, Voices on the Land and Hormone Stew.