my glorious footballing career

The school team were down a player
and I looked like the answer to their prayer
wandering out from chess club late
inadvisably I said Great!
I didn’t have the kit
so I had to improvise a bit
in a pair of shorts
abandoned on the tennis courts
and my shoes and socks and shirt
I looked absurd
but what really hurt
was when I was running down the wing
shouting anything
that came into my head
when I overheard something a parent said
How can you play your heart out in your tie?
because unfortunately
no-one had told me
to take it off
and I wasn’t cool or savvy enough
to figure out that stuff
so I must’ve looked ridiculous, awkward
a marketing executive for a centre-forward
running about, away from the play
but suddenly the ball got passed my way
I felt a surge
a powerful urge
to prove myself, to shine
to seize my time
and prove them all wrong
to show I DID belong
that you CAN be a nerd
but still have an absurd
talent for the game
like (…insert the name
of a footballer here
because really I’ve no idea…)
in a shirt and tie
an accountant’s haircut but an assassin’s eye

so I waved my arms, did some fancy stuff
that ended up being just wild enough
to beat a couple of dazed defenders
and ignoring the desperate shouts from the centre
I charged at the goal, took a shot
and ended up missing by quite a lot

*

a month or so later I was cycling by the pitch
when the team was getting spanked by Friday Bridge
I shouted out to show them who supported them the most
and cycled head-first into a concrete lamppost

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