We Share This (Pt. 3)

Our only true connection is this game
by Michael Quigg   |   Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Poetic Game by Michael E. Quigg - combining soccer and poetry

My cousin Alessandro moved here

from Brasil when I was 13

This was the worst possible time

My mother's alcoholism and I

were reaching adolescence

at the same time

and I was spoiled, angry

and incapable of being anything

but an asshole


Don't get me wrong,

we didn't dislike each other,

well, I didn't dislike him anyway

I didn't really give him much reason to like me,

but we didn't connect

in the way family is supposed to,

the way shared blood and noses demand


We only hung out together

when there were other people around


we were barely able to have a conversation

lasting more than a few sentences

I have regretted this

since I first came to understand how


these relationships are

But I was never able to change it,

make it right.


One day he brought out a soccer ball

On that day, we lost hours together

From the front of our apartment building

all the way to the park at the end of our street,

we shared an experience for the first time

For the first time, we were kin

Shared blood,

shared passion


In 2002, 10 years later

I played my last pick-up game of soccer

It was my cousin, now known as Alex,

and I against two guys we had never met

Four masochists

running around in 100 degree weather

with two tipped over trash cans for goals

and loving every second of it

Until recently

this was the last time I saw my cousin

The kinship I felt then

would not be felt again


When I allow myself

to think about him,

about our non-existent relationship,

I am in pain.

With all we share,

the ancestry, the DNA, the love of guarana,

with all the ways

in which we are the same,

he is still a stranger

Our only true connection

is this game.

Michael QUIGG

Club Domestic:
Mass United FC
Club Foreign:
Oxford United
A lifelong Bostonian, Michael travels in the worlds of both sport and art. He is the Director of PR & Media for Mass United FC, co-host of The SpeakEasy Cafe on BlogTalkRadio and a volunteer and open mic regular for Boston Poetry Slam. He’s a busy boy.