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Grass Roots

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 ‘66, I missed it altogether
couldn’t see past my mother’s womb
although at some point in the second half
I attempted to

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 kick my way out

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 War and Peace on the floor, never mind
England’s glory repeated
in black and white clips after Play for Today
we rarely heard the end of how

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Mum never found her place again.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 2 Shoot for the moon, Dad told me in ‘74
when he got me a ball, goals made
from surplus netting, wooden canes
and hey there, Georgie geh’l,
watch where yer headin’

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 one strike and out of bounds

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 next door’s freshly watered mud-patch
clod-hopper boots and my sky-blue ball
hoed-out, it emerged
smutted, smeared
and through a straggle of weeds

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 the old man’s face

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 hole in his sweater the size of his green
furred-up mouth, head back, chortling,
So you think you can be the best?

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Catch this!

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 Slow, quick, quick, quick, quick, slow
and through the air, a spinning globe,
a planet… Earth.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 It slipped through my fingers.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 Georgie, Georgie girl, reaching up
pinning posters to the wall
and just for a moment believing
she too had the world at her feet.

7

Notes

inspired by anecdotes and memories from childhood, largely embellished… or… how many little girls hero-worshipped the footballing greats and how many wanted to be them… or… if George Best had been born a girl ( a little later than he was, granted, but you get the drift!) ’74 a reference to the Sex Discrimination Act.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/grass-roots-4/