Poem | Gyelek Khedup Atisang

Photo Credits: Lee La

Copa America

Second hand corduroy jackets and denims
Remind me of you
 Wish I could frame memories
 In empty bottles of Gold-Spot
 Because they still remind me
 Terribly of you

 And how the color of all the flags we honored with Khadas^
 Received ample blessing
 But none that had the sigil of the Tibetan Flag
 And though we waited
 For our heroes to outshine
 The baseless and trivial
 Football was my Pala’s*
 An inheritance that he passed along to me
 So the flags that we honored once in every four years
 Was more than just a game

It travels geographically
 And has been documented historically
 In the corner side pockets of Southern India
 Is Hunsur Town
 Argentina vs. Germany
 My Pala in his hay day
 Huddled with ten of his best friends
 Along with a few others
 Finals in color television
 The high definition of my Pala’s time
 And the Hand of God
 That changed history
 And gave wings to a man
 That my Pala worshipped like a god 

  And so it has been five cups that have come and gone
  Five cups have been celebrated away from home
  Five cups that my Pala recalls
  And how he talks about the reckless joy of rooting for a country that
isn’t even ours
  He laughs a bit

 Only football fanatics will get
 And this is how I am reminded of you
 With a shared poverty
     Because everything now
     Still reminds me terribly of you

^Tibetan silk scarfs
* Tibetan word for father

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