HIDDEN MATCH REPORT
Charles Bronson was thirty feet short,
didn’t make the trees - spooks sprung
caught some, murdered fifty more.
I wasn’t spending time, without wi-fi
in a Manc cooler - – my plans were solid.
I sat in the stifling embrace, sod-sweat
damp kissed by the tease of tiger balm
and familiar tones, Ando and Throw –
warming up, cheering me up.
I wanted to jump from my tunnel
but I’d wait, until the ref’s whistle.
They wouldn’t throw me out?
Not after all that effort, surely?
Then my phone rang, it was her
“Can you pick me up after work?”
“Why are you whispering?”
She hung up.
I sat in the dark, drinking cold tea
until the flask was empty
then worked the spoon
gently round and round
blinking away the crumbles
of City soil – ten grand a square inch.
A rush of air, under a blue fabric sky
“Alan! Alan! Here! Down here!
Move the towel, big man!”
Silence – jeez, what’s it about goalies?
Scunnered, I risked a Hamlet – smiled,
this was classic old school.
Steve McQueen taught me well.
I burned a wee hole
in the cloth, just enough
to poke a view of the goalmouth.
Just before the ref blew his whistle.
And the game? Not a classic.
Not worth the admission.
Not worth the grief from her
for not picking her up,
being missing for four days,
for being a spoon short
in the set her mother gave us,
for leaving my work flask ten feet
under Man City’s Training Ground.
But listen! Come closer -
don’t tell anyone but
Aquerro shaves his legs.
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