A Tribute to Dave Mann

Superman’s Funeral

It took a good few minutes to realize he was in the room.
Jazz music filled the space.
Not New Orleans funereal jazz
West-coast-cool-jazz.  It was loud.
Not enough to drown the boisterous
or silence the whispering.
A modern screen
displayed un-modern images.
theres no good word for the opposite of modern.
Black and white.
not just the people.
rudimentary equipment.
amazing feats.
amazing hands.
adoring fans.
not just in the pictures.
Who has their life documented
in word and image?
How many fewer with praise?
And there he was.
I fumbled.
sorry Coach
The music seemed quieter.
And perfect.  At the same time,
I kept a non-familial distance.
School or Championship ring
on knotted finger?
Peaceful. Worthy. Ne plus ultra.
I can count, on one hand
how many dead Ive seen.
Product of a blip in history.
An angel, Measha, rang out a hymn. Goin Up Yonder
Not sure she was expected
But nothing less was expected.
Deacon Gene Mack told the tale
Said the prayer.
Hed played the all positions.
   (Dark) Clark Gable
         Sweet “16
           Smooth Drummer
             We love you Dad
There were the years in CA
There were the years in the war
you do the math
There were the years in the record book
the years in the Spotlight
There were the years in the middle – my years
The years at the end.
Too often there are the years at the end
Football players always stand-out
In a crowd
A head above.  A broader swath.
60s teammates stand grey and
but stand-out
I sit at the back – unknown
and stand-out
Pigment is on my mind.
Hues of friends, of sisters, of spouses, of children and grandchildren.
Dark and light and in-between
A mosaic worthy of Venezia’s St. Marks, composed
in a moment in time
©Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn studied philosophy at the University of Toronto, but learned more, playing football for coach Dave Mann in the early ’90s at St. Michaels College, U of T.