Sport – haibun for dVerse

My daughter has grown through sport. I have watched her grow leaner, fitter, and much more confident through finding a sport she loves and working hard at it. She rows, which means watching the tides, fitting time on the river into early mornings and after school sessions, giving up time at the weekend when she could be shopping or Snapchatting, and getting up at crazy o’clock to get to regattas.

We live in the middle of nowhere, so I’ve resigned myself to driving the kids all over the place. I stand at the side of rugby pitches in the rain, and I sit in dojos on sunny days for my son, but secretly I prefer the rowing. I like sitting by the river, watching the movement of the water. I like watching the quad working together, perfecting their timing, their awareness of each other. I like their laughter as they clean down the boat and pack away their oars. Most of all, I like the determination on my daughter’s face as she pushes herself, concentrating on every stroke.

water flows swiftly

river dancing with the sea

white wings skim the waves

Bjorn is hosting at dVerse tonight. He wants us to write about sport. I wouldn’t say we are a sporty family, but we seem to do a lot of it. I run, and over the last year I’ve discovered cardio-tennis, but sport has most of its impact on me through my children. 

NaPoWriMo 20 – the sporty one

Gannets

Simon says “Rei” and they all bow –
that breaks the silence, and the line,
and suddenly the dojo’s full of movement –
kids circling, looking for their zoris,
gis flapping white. Most are flocking
to their mums, but over there
two boys are grappling, practising
ran dori, and I hear talk of uchi mata, uchi komi.
One girl is cartwheeling across the tatame,
Revelling in her arms’ strength,
swinging a circle, and then landing,
bringing her feet down solid on the mat.

Out west, gannets are circling,
wings flashing white, weaving
above the waves. They swoop and dart,
Make sudden plunges – knives
through the water. I hear them calling,
and I think they must be joyful,
revelling in their wings, testing their strength
against the water and the wind.

NaPoWriMo asks us for a poem that uses sporting terms. My son is a judoka, so this is for him.