A Footballer Passes

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 As it was and as we were
You filling the sun-strewn early promise
Young, clean of limb, sinewed and strong
Firm of foot and purpose
Pale fingers gripping the long sleeve
The sureness of the gunslinger
You would menace, taunt, compete, triumph

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 But, whatever gifts once possessed
None can pass like time
It ghosts and steals into the soft belly
That space behind you
The turn, the chase but no
Held fast in the freezing tarpits of the winter field

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Hands to knees, the realization, the resignation
A moment come too soon
A sideways glance at a number held aloft
Time points you to the last, solitary walk
Into the uncertain darkness of the tunnel

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Never to return but forever to gaze back
In the curling yellow of the ancient clipping
Cross-armed with comrades, frozen forever
The rawness of what was and how we hoped
How you held us, enthralled us, lifted us
Spilling your excitement into the drabness of the week

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Where once we could raise you with our song
Too much of us now goes with you
The stadium lights blink to black, one by one
Our town falls silent and still
For if someone such as you can pass
We know we are inching closer ourselves


Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/a-footballer-passes/