Poetry On Odyssey: Visiting Angel

Poetry On Odyssey: Visiting Angel

Adapting to loss

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This poem is an adaptation of real events; the memory associated with those events is very distinct in my mind, so I decided to take them and make them into something for others to interact with.

What inspired this poem was a little runaway dog that I just happened to recognize, so just like in the poem, I snatched him up and took him home. However, that particular day was an extremely emotional one for me, so when I wrote the poem, I infused that and adapted it to convey a deeper, more poetic meaning.

Visiting Angel

A dog in the road.

There is a dog

standing in the road.

I know this dog;

small, brown, hairy,

big, big brown eyes.

My car idles,

I turn it off,

get out.

Boots in the mud

making a sickly squishing sound

as I do what my mother

told me not to do.

But I know this dog.

Because I know this dog,

I scoop him up.

Mud from his belly

coats my arm,

my tears

pitter patter

onto his head.

I hope he thinks

It's rain.

He doesn't

squirm, bark, bite,

as I put him in the car,

close the door,

turn it on.

Rumble slowly down the road.

He sits peacefully in the bucket seat.

I pick a driveway,

turn ninety degrees.

My rusty car complains,

the dog does not.

He waits patiently

for me to

park, stand, walk,

open his door

lift him out,

hold him close against the cold,

go

walking, looking, listening,

for his person

who I find easily enough.

Are you ok?

I'm returning your dog.

He was standing in the road.

It's raining now.

I turn to the idling car

with one last glance at the dog;

he's looking at me blankly.

He doesn't know who I am,

but I know this dog.

I drive away.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Dear Readers, Stop Taking Odyssey So Seriously

We are merely a platform for college students to express themselves.

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Odyssey is a lovely community for (mainly) college students to write. Through our writing, we tell stories, present our opinions, stay up to date on popular culture, write creatively, and more. You name it. A lot of times, the national Facebook page will share articles that are extremely controversial, which leads to comments such as "Unfollowing Odyssey because of this stupid article," or "Ok, I'm done. Bye Odyssey."

To these people, I say: stop taking Odyssey so seriously. We are not a news outlet and we are not writing for Odyssey as a career. Odyssey is accepting of all opinions. If you don't like it, you don't have to read the articles you don't agree with. You don't have to follow Odyssey, but I feel as though some people take Odyssey a bit too seriously. A lot of the people in my Odyssey community (West Chester University) offered their stance on the matter as well.


1. Magen

"The only reputation Odyssey cares about is the one that proves we can write whatever we want, and the one that proves they get views. Odyssey doesn't have an opinion, it's a platform."

"We are lucky to be associated with a relatively non-political, non-biased publisher. It's not like Fox News or CNN where there is a clear bias. We are all allowed to say whatever we feel and still be published. That's the real purpose of the press."

2. Jacqui

"I actually like how Odyssey stays politically neutral. They share two opinions when most news websites promote the right or the left. I'm a centrist so I love seeing two side's opinions and forming my own based on the arguments. Media is so far left or right these days, I think it's important to give everyone a voice."

3. Alex

"I just worry that, as writers, we understand that our platform is meant to serve any and all opinions. But, as readers, I hope their opinions about Odyssey doesn't shift to thinking they're promoting certain things when, in reality, they're just sharing work."

4. Marissa

"The people who react poorly [to articles] really need to get over themselves. If they (the readers) are going to bag the whole platform because one article doesn't agree with their beliefs, then that's kind of petty."

Some advice for the next time you see an Odyssey article that you disagree with: remember that Odyssey is a platform that allows all opinions, no matter if they match with yours. Negative articles are shared just as much as positive articles, opposing opinions are shared equally, as well. If you don't like an article, you don't have to read it! Of course, you have every right to express your opinion in the comments section, but getting angry with a writing platform that does not have a bias is ridiculous. I, personally, love writing for Odyssey because I know that my stories and my opinions are just as important as those with different stories and opinions.

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