In My Ohio

​On Where I Would Go In Many Drafts

                                                                                                                                                           (www.laphamsquarterly.tumblr.com)
Darren C. Demaree
​Next week is the National Football League (NFL) draft, and the whole sports world is already in a tizzy about where these young men will be selected. A month or so after that, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) will hold their drafts. I watch all of them. I even watch the MLB draft online. My name is never called, even though I did fill out the paperwork to be included in the 2000 NBA draft, but my role as the third-string point guard on the Mount Vernon High School freshman team impressed nobody. Professional sports were never a real opportunity for me, but other than that of a wartime scenario, I’ve always dreamed of being drafted. Keeping that in mind, taking into consideration my current skill sets, in what draft would I hear my name be called and where would I go?

​Housekeeping (5th Round)

​I’m solid, but not spectacular. Each week I clean the bathrooms, vacuum the house, dust the house, clean the stovetop and microwave, and do the laundry. I keep things from sliding into dirt and disrepair. I don’t climb into the shower and scrub it, like a 2nd round workout warrior. I don’t know how to mix my own eco-friendly cleaners like a 1st round savant. I won’t embarrass the house that selects me, but nobody is going to win a championship with me as their go to caretaker.

​Husband (2nd Round)

​I’m not great at anything, but I’m really good in every area of being a husband. I might be a first round pick if I was taller (made more money), but I do really well in almost every category. This would be a surprise to the scouts that followed me in college and grad school, but Emily saw my potential and I have done my best to reward her for that.

​Father (1st Round)

​My children and I spend all week together. I am what is referred to as the primary caretaker of these kids, and we have a blast. We go to the zoo, the play place, the library, COSI, and occasionally the movies. I took them to Chucky Cheese one time, but that might be the only time that happens. On a rainy day, we do art or write plays together, or turn the basement into a giant fort. We have a lot of fun, and they appear to be (so far) very happy and respectful children.

​Poet (3rd Round)

​I’m a legitimate pro-prospect at this point. I haven’t won any awards yet, or been mentioned on any all-American lists, but my production is consistent (by 2016 it will be five books in four years). I think I’m a safe pick to contribute to the next forty years, and if I can keep an agile mind, I might make that next step or two onto a bigger stage. I feel like any poetry team that got me in the third round would be pretty excited about it. I’m still really young in the world of poetry (thirty-four), and there is still some exciting potential to be explored.

​Ohioan (2nd Round)

​Nobody is a better student of the game of Ohio than me. I’m in the elementary schools talking poetry with kids. I’ve written a book of political poems about the current state of the political universe in Ohio, the proceeds of which will go to the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. I pay my taxes and I vote. There is still some room for improvement, but I’m a fast learner in regards to this state. Under some good coaching (tutelage), I could really help somewhere. We’ll see how that all comes together.

​1940-1950’s Male Standards (7th Round)

​The older men in my neighborhood all shake their head at me. I hire too many people to fix things at my house. I take my car to a shop. I have tattoos. I write poetry. My only redeemable quality in their eyes is that I maintain my lawn pretty well. They’re not the most progressive of dudes, so they also like that I’m white and straight. They don’t like that I’m a democrat (“You voted for Obama?”) and an open proponent of allowing same-sex marriage, but they’re nice to my kids. The only reason I wouldn’t be undrafted by this group is that I’m a breeder. Ah well, I’m not declaring for that draft anyway.