Poem For a Lost Season

The other day I lent a book to a friend. Before handing it over, I paged through it, and discovered an article I’d torn out of the Vancouver Sun. It’s from April 7, 2005, and features a poem by Richard Harrison. He’s writing about the labour lockout which resulted in the cancellation of the 2004-2005 NHL season. I also thought its sad tone was applicable to any fan mourning the loss of their team’s exit from the post-season.

NH Elegy

Once, men came home from war,
or from the sides of family graves,
to lace up skates and play for it
as if everything could be remade
in a silver bowl passed hand to hand.
For years it etched the seasons
with their winning names,
and took the touch of triumph
into each triumphant house. It paused
just once – to mourn the dead, and
stayed unmarked to mark their passing.
Today, left idle in the Hall of Fame,
while rich men quarrel to no profit at its base,
untouched upon its plinth it stands.
And all who see it can tell you now
how a fallen thing is one that no one holds.

Back in 1994, Harrison wrote a lovely book of hockey poems entitled “Hero of the Play”. I highly recommend it. You can read and hear some of his poems elsewhere on the web.

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