Early June, and at odds with the day.
There's a JCB digging at the Ormond end
scraping the red ash back, exposing sores:
the missed chances, the soft goals aching
and the Celtic defence where it was buried
by themselves, before they headed home.
It's beyond post-season.
It's not pre-season.
It's non-season yet it's busy, industry
swarms around the ground, puddles
into laughter and a single voice calling
the play - the demand to stay off the grass.
Sparkies cherry pick the lights, bouncing
but not in Unity, and adverts come and go.
I breathe in the sweet air off the grass
and watch the shadows of gulls replay
random moves of a season still echoing
in the ranks of seats, blue, red - waiting.
I can hear the grass breathing,
roots of memory gently disturbed:
shoots of anticipation and ambition swell
under the sun's lazy impress on the pitch.
A shadow curves out for a throw
opposite the eighteen yard line, unmarked.
No goals. No nets but the spots
where Cummins tapped in
where Scobs rescued, lifted us
where Spoony found the line
where Macca found his curve
where Ando and Joe stood firm - still there.
Each one seeded with a loyal purpose
in the soil, the shine of grass, and ourselves
so we can return to the dream, quenched
with fresh hope, and unplanned mysteries.
A whistling burst of Oystercatcher blows
full-time. I pick up the shadow. I'm ready.
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