Richard Pierce

Life, Poetry, Sport

evening kick-off

the floodlights make the air visible
swathes of atoms dance
giant moths rise to the heat and light
of the last evening of summer

he stands outside the stadium awake and alive
ninety minutes from midnight the breeze around him
young again

this is what it was to be alive
to have no time pressing for necessary sleep
no next day with obligations or threats
empty time waiting to be filled

cars and noise and voices move around him
in slowest motion the hint of a drift in hours
and the freshness of this adolescent evening
which would have promised so much
so many years ago when he was alone
in the big cities

there is no going back no reason to think
of the past that’s gone nor to regret it
nor the actions nor the lost
years months weeks days hours
when he did nothing
when he should have done something
made progress been productive
been someone focused
made more of himself and his talent

now he stands in the open air
hands held close to the cooling wind
watches the atoms fly from the stadium
wishes he could stand here forever or
better stand inside the ground forever
smell the grass and embrocation
set foot on the turf and catch a firm shot
in the trained cavity of his chest
gloved hands around the ball
emperor of the rectangle defined in white
lines and the crowds howling love or disdain
at him and the weight of the ball in his arms
and his eyes on every movement and his
body an instinct of muscle memory

the lights click out
and he turns away
to the present

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