The stadium rose like a Starship
to meet us, floodlit as a Hollywood filmset.
We felt like extras in a Spielberg epic.
Unrehearsed, but eager for action,
we lifted, weightless, up flights of stairs,
drawn to the high illumined rim.
Stunned by sheer glamour,
we bathed in the glow,
swayed to the low cathedral chants.
The pitch was a dayglo tartan baize,
embossed with white geometries –
each corner flagged liked a landmark
in history; The Poles, Everest, The Sea
of Tranquility, where European evenings
brought lessons in geography, with banners
from Lyon, Dortmund, Bruges.
Familiar tunes with foreign words
cascaded in their cadences-
Forza Roma! Allez Les Rouges!
When the team captains met
in the circle the ref tossed a coin
that twirled in slow motion.
I wondered if somewhere out there in space
something familiar was taking place-
two teams, a ref, a ball, a coin. An arena
inside a spacecraft. A game between
Galacticos from opposing galaxies; aliens
feeling like extras on extra-terrestrial terraces.