Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Goalkeeper: Part 5


Another new era dawns, under flood-lights
On the wettest of dark Monday evenings
In early March.
He splashes through the black flood
Between changing-room and goal-posts,
A shower of water, momentarily gilded,
Flashing round his muddy feet,
And already flecks of brown
Disguise the white tops of his socks.

An icy gust blows drizzle on his neck
And exposed knees, and he knows
It will require dedication
For him to make the sticks and nets his throne.
He is brave, not one for sabotage:
What is to come will be an even contest.

Forty minutes pass and the grass
Has been hidden behind the same hue
That now conceals the once white socks.
There can be no pause for breath,
Even at last place in the line.
He strains against exhaustion and mud
To finish his battle in a victory
Akin to leading in the faster group.

They trudge off side by side.
This round ends a draw.

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