The Final Cut

I remember when I was in the seventh grade
And tried to make the cut for my school team
Basketball was in my blood, I believed
So I concentrated on my dream

I made sure I got my homework done early
So I could go outside to play across the street
With a friend who had talent and ambition
The game was in him from head to feet

As tryouts got closer
I deepened my focus
On the hoop and the ball
And not school
So when the teacher told me
I couldn’t play due
To poor grades
Man, I felt like a fool

Mom convinced them my grades would improve
“Just give him a chance,” she pleaded
So the teacher and the coach made the exception
And I was happy that they conceded

But the first day of practice
Coach Kelly ran me like a dog
Yelling “Move, Slowpoke!”
And I broke down, I admit
That night I had terrible cramps
I already knew I wasn’t fit

So I cut myself off before he could do it
The next practice I didn’t appear on the court
My friends said Coach Kelly asked about me
He wondered why I decided to abort

And I found my one and only sport
Tennis was in me the whole time
Every time I tried out for the High School team
The “cut bell” would never chime
So to those kids out there who didn’t make the final cut
Maybe you haven’t found your calling yet
Hang in there, keep dreaming and believing
As for the coach who cut you, forgive and forget.

1999

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