The Game

We trained and trained,
Juggling and dribbling in driving rains.
We ran and stopped and ran again—
All in preparation for the great game.
When our team arrived on the pitch to warm up and train,
A hail of boos filled our ears.
Many mocked and jeered.
“You’re such and such;”
And “The game is ours this year.”
Our men steeled their nerves
And shut them out.
Let them yell and not fancy our side.
We’ll take the field like men with pride.
So we did
And vowed to win.

The game began at the official’s
Whistle.
The frenzied crowd went insane,
But playing on the road only fanned our flame
To win the year’s biggest game.
They controlled the ball,
And we gave chase.
Still they couldn’t score,
Nor could we.
The game went on into eternity.
Then in injury time
Our number ten,
God bless him,
Stole the ball
And dribbled through them all.
Their keeper swore and cursed his men.

We laughed, “Let him rant,” we all agreed,
Just give us the infernal lead.
Number ten sent a shot low and hard.
Their keeper dove.
We held our guard.
The crowd gasped.
The net caught the ball.
At last, at last,
We’d taken the game.
Our number ten
Merely grinned.
On our ride through the streets of Spain,
We forgot our pains,
Knowing we’d labored not in vain.

Posted in Perspective, Poetry