Tournament Of Hearts


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Now the lounge is full of farmers
for the 7:30 draw.
Teammates all left before they had to buy a round.
When they pull the 50/50
and I've lost again, I'll go.
Or maybe have one more brown one for the snowy road.
All the championship banners
going yellow on the wall
add my name when it gets closer to last call.
So Elvera brings my bottle,
I hold it up and let it bend
the figures of two rinks battling an extra end.
And I'm peeling off the label
as they peel a corner guard
and dance down the sheet to the tune of "Hurry! Hurry hard!"
And my popcorn squeaks a question-
wonders why I'm not at home,
where you wait beside a silent telephone
and doodle circles within circles, all alone.
Have to stop myself from climbing
on the table full of empties to yell,
Why can't I draw right up to what I want to say?
Why can't I ever stop where I want to stay?
I slide right through the days.
I'm always throwing hack-weight."

Now the senior bonspiel winners,
circa 1963,
are all staring, glaring disapprovingly,
from their frame in that old photograph, at me.
And I know you're out there waiting
for an answer I can't give you.
Tell me why.
Why can't I draw right up to what I want to say?
Why can't I ever stop when I want to stay?
I roar right through our years.
I drift right through our months.
I slide right through our days.
I'm always throwing hack-weight.

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