You know, people talk about “poetic license,” but in fact you don’t need a license to commit poetry. Nor is there a background check or a waiting period. All you need is inspiration, which this week has been provided by Robert Griffin III’s wonky knee.
Several readers took inspiration from the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. (Any relation to Billy?)
I think that I shall never see
A joint as lovely as a knee.
A knee robust, that doesn’t swell
A knee with flawless ACL;
A knee without a tendon graft
Meniscus torn? It is to laugh;
A knee that’s whole and pink inside
A knee that gives a fan base pride;
Poems are made by fools like me
But only a coach can ruin a knee.
— Bernard Ries, Washington
I hope that we shall never see,
Another RGIII bad knee,
We need him more than he needs us,
Please send him back without a fuss,
With all his spark and skill and more,
With knees that help us raise the score,
He gives his all and yet again,
We’ll teach him when he must say, “When.”
The scolding’s over—heal him quick!
And get him strong as any brick!
We wish you well and hale and free,
No more knee problems, RGIII!
— Ruth R. Laubgross, Silver Spring
I think that I shall never see
A meme so viral on a knee;
Keypads lit up when he went down
A blitz of posts from D.C. town;
Each armchair doc texted his call
It’s torn . . . it’s sprained . . . he lost the ball!
Coach Shanahan must take the blame
And worst of all, he lost the game!
From god to goat, his fall was quick
Like pols who tweet a shirtless pic;
Why these poems by tools like me?
Cuz “RGIII” has many rhymes.
— John Meagher, Fairfax Station
Megan Pomeroy of Salisbury, Md., didn’t need a lot of words to express how she feels:
For endangering Robert Griffin the Third,
We’re going to flip Mike Shanahan the bird.
These poems aren’t much longer:
After just being knocked on his can again
It was a pathetic shenanigan
To tell Robert to “play if you can again”
By his desperate coach, Michael Shanahan
— Brian Richardson, College Park
Oh, my knee be hurtin’
It needs repair for certain
But when I come back
I’ll be right on track
And with a Super Bowl we’ll be flirtin’
— Michael Barre, Arlington
There once was a young man from Baylor,
Whose knee had been fixed by a tailor.
When he played with the pros,
It exposed all his woes,
The new tailor better not be a failure.
— Chris Robbins, Woodbridge
A horribly injured knee
Put down our young RGIII.
Coach Shanahan said,
“At least he’s not dead,
“So why are you cursing at me?”
— Don Hirschfeld, Temple Hills
Columbia’s Howard Walderman surveyed sports history in his poem:
Ben Agajanian, an NFL kicker for years, kicked with crushed toes.
Another, Tom Dempsey, missing toes and a hand, added to his woes.
Baseballer Pete Gray played the outfield with only one arm.
Pitcher Monty Stratton’s artificial leg caused him alarm.
These handicapped athletes overcame the dregs,
But an NFL quarterback really needs two good legs.
Finally, this may be my favorite, from Roger Hartman of Annandale:
Came to D.C.
The city got excited.
At last the listing Redskins’ ship
Was going to be righted.
The season’s start
Gave us some heart:
More wins were on the way.
But 3 and 6 was not the fix
And hope? It went away.
Then 7 straight wins
Turned frowns to grins.
The Skins were on the move.
Our great QB named RGIII
Had truly found his groove.
But not so fast.
It couldn’t last.
The Seahawks were too much.
His twisted knee meant RG III
Left FedEx on a crutch.
So now the knife
Has changed his life.
The outcome? Wish I knew.
Let’s hope and pray
That there’s a way
His knee will be like new.
Yes, let’s hope so. In the meantime, fingers crossed that Stephen Strasburg’s elbow — Washington’s other famously injured joint — is nice and healthy, too.
I overlooked a group in my Monday list of organizations that donated to this year’s Children’s Hospital campaign. As they have for 25 previous years, the Employees of Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc. in Columbia, Greenbelt, Lanham and Alexandria gave a whopping $3,500 to Children’s. Thank you.
For previous columns, go to washingtonpost.com/johnkelly.