847 Miles in Two Vans (No One)


Opposing armies clash under Friday’s spotlight—

Eternal rivals engage in a show of speed and power:

Cheering parents, students, and teachers all show their pride.

Pass thrown, defender juked, touchdown scored, crowd cheers.

For these modern-day Spartans, celebration is expected and almost guaranteed.

Glory and fame await these titans in the halls.


On another date, different armies clash once more:

Eternal rivals engage in a show of wits:

Empty classroom, except for students, coach, the occasional parent.

“Philosopher who wrote Leviatha-” Buzz. “Thomas Hobbes.” Score updated, next question.

No recognition for these modern-day Athenians.

A passing remark in the announcements, give or take.


Merciless steamroll of the rival school in both cases—

Friday’s game: Exciting, no doubt.

But the battle of academics: Where’s the teacher to see the fruits of her efforts?


State competition:

Jersey-clad warriors sent to war against bigger armies,

In the finest buses, which contain students’ rejoice:

A bathroom.

The brass of the band and booms of the crowd cheer them off.


Another group of warriors is sent off to even bigger heights:

National competition.

No bus awaits us—only two vans rented from Enterprise.

847 miles—Oklahoma to Minnesota.

No one’s there to see.

Not one soul to cheer us on

Or even just acknowledge us.


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