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Sunday, March 18, 2018


by T R Poulson

Nevada looked like its NCAA tournament was going to come to end Sunday in the second round. But after trailing by 22 points in the second half, the Wolf Pack rallied to beat the Cincinnati 75-73 and advance to the Sweet 16. Nevada’s stirring comeback – the second-largest in tournament history – came just two days after the No. 7 seed rallied from 14 points down in the second half to beat Texas for its first NCAA victory since 2007. “Nothing feels better than this,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman said. “Nothing. Sweet 16!” —USA Today, March 18, 2018

A snow hiker finds fifty-four hands: frozen hands, unfettered hands,
gnarled hands, grisly hands, bloodstained hands, dissevered hands.

So many cats:  cougars, bearcats, panthers, tigers, wildcats
pounce on blue jays, bulls, highlanders with their weathered hands.

A thundering herd evades the cowboys’ ropes, pursued by shockers,
those pesky prods pressed to haunches by men’s leathered hands.

The quakers fight, their weapon, inner light, as those jayhawks
swoop and fly, yellow beaks like iron, wings like feathered hands.

Even friars shake in fright, as lawless aggies bare their whips
and guns, no honor to men bound to God with forevered hands.

From myths, the titans from old kingdoms rise to snuff out fires
of boilermakers, crush the torches, hammers of endeavored hands.

Will the gods send hurricanes to spin and drench and swirl,
to tame all claws, talons, hooves, with wind’s untethered hands?

But wait.  Imagine the wagging retriever, prancing, dancing.
He takes the bone from cavaliers’ unwilling, levered hands.

We’re in the madness.  We back our pack of wolves who dodge
the long, curved horns.  The bearcats loom.  We lift together-hands.

T R Poulson, a Nevada Alum (yep, I proudly sign my ghazal with support for my Wolf Pack. Her work has appeared in Rattle, Alehouse, Trajectory, Wildcat Review, The Meadow, Verdad, The Raintown Review, J Journal, and Tuck Magazine), currently lives in San Carlos, California.