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How we found the same old fears

by Angela Stevens

There are times, quarterly, that I decide
to come out, to watch kicking legs and
a roundness of pigskin tiptoe on grass.
I become one of the corpses made out
in white shirts and humming rallies to
rile up players to give it all they can.

The first half was won. A betraying mass
of aubergine purple awash with white.
the grass was tilted in our direction and
our rhythmic kicks were beating along with
the players pulse, but it wasn't to be.

The legs faltered, veering with some swearing
(the realisation that he's not going to make it)
the metal bar shudders out its sneers, we are still.
A bloody smack resounds in our ears this way
and that, the veil drops and the opposites cheer
(for 90 minutes at a time they become this).

They wear contorted features of glee as
we become as flailing and reckless as rice paper
on this solemnly wet field, a sludgy mass of
antagnoist chants, our charming calls reverting,
our faces paling away to tribal masks, we use
the flags painted on cheeks as war paint.

I look back and watch skeletons playing
on that field in icy haze, rain misting up
the abandoned stands, we lost it again,
and now all we have are our white shirts
as a cold comfort. (we lost it again).


Author's Note: Yeah, I tried to understand Football, or 'soccer' to anybody who's American (really not meant as an insult!). I wrote this to see if my old History teacher remembered my name (he has a football poetry website). He didn't, lol. Wasn't surprised. :D

Posted on 04/02/2013
Copyright © 2024 Angela Stevens

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by George Hoerner on 04/02/13 at 07:18 PM

I know how so many peoples of other countries are so "into" "football", our soccer, the riots etc. I played various sports as a child but have a hard time seeing any of them as being life and death situations, which it seem they can be. But the poem is really a lovely write and description. Very nicely done m'lady!

Posted by Jim Benz on 04/02/13 at 11:49 PM

This really is a wonderful poem Angela--maybe the first of your's I've read. I'll be back for more.

Posted by Johnny Crimson on 04/03/13 at 09:48 AM

Did you say football and poetry in the same sentence? Yuck. Good write though. :)

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 04/08/13 at 12:22 AM

Excellent combination of nostalgia, action and spirit.

Posted by Laura Doom on 04/14/13 at 10:22 AM

Not so much left-field as blatantly offside; [whistles of approval from the crowd]

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