Posted tagged ‘A.E. Housman imitation’

Commotio Cordis (Athlete)

February 16, 2013

Photo on 2010-05-11 at 23.58_2

Commotio Cordis (Athlete)

Impact at the exact wrong place,
at the exact wrong time.
Astonishment turned stone his face–
that this was all of it.

off left–chest’s pleat.
off-centering–heart’s beat.

And all he’d been, all that he would be–
just stopped, like a watch dropped
on marble, the odd gravity
that will find a marble

roll it to the

corner, the lone collapsed crawlspace–
how could the boy grown tall
fit into it so fast?  His face
too soft for fixed wonder.


The above draft poem was written for a prompt by Fireblossom at With Real Toads, to write in a kind of Victorian format, like A.E. Housman and/or to write about athletics.  I am also linking it to the dVerse Poets Pub prompt by Mary Kling to write about place or Leonard Cohen.  The place here is the center of the chest, and although I’m not sure this completely suited for the prompt, Leonard Cohen certainly writes of loss.

Commotio Cordis happens (as far as I understand it) when someone receives a sudden hard thump in the chest – often by a ball or puck – that hits at a certain vulnerable point in the heart’s rhythms.  It can cause cardiac arrest or arrhythmia and death, and there have been many tragic occurrences in sport.  I’m sorry if the poem seems flippant or sentimental–it’s perhaps a difficult subject to write about in a form.

Here’s a reading of the poem: