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Sonnet with Angels Watching Soccer

Read by Shelley Wong

Although some mortals call it beautiful,
Really the same
Thing happens every game:
The rival squads line up; the dull

Tweet of the referee initiates
The match–free kicks,
Stray passes, through-balls, tricks
And turns. Soon, our interest abates.

Up here, in the wings, it looks almost depraved:
Such preparation
For some longed-for elation,
Though chance, after chance, after chance, is saved.

It’s sad: with every shot-in-the-dark on goal,
A momentary heartening of the soul.

Matt Morton received the Sycamore Review 2014 Wabash Prize for Poetry, selected by Bob Hicok. He has been a finalist for a Ruth Lilly Fellowship and a finalist in the Narrative Magazine 30 Below Story and Poetry Contest. The recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, his poems appear in Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Quarterly West, West Branch, and elsewhere. Originally from Rockwall, Texas, he lives in Baltimore, where he teaches creative writing and literature at Johns Hopkins University.