How did you get me twice? Back on the field
I thought I had escaped your clutches, comments,
your dismissive shaking of the head.
The frustrated Biology teacher helping with games,
telling us we were useless with a glance:
You got me then – now you’ve got me again.
As a colleague, what’s your motivational speech?
‘Write down the profession you wanted as a child’;
a raised eyebrow when he saw ‘footballer’ for me.
Yet I remember Mr Rooke’s report:
‘Combines pace and skill to very good effect’,
so you just didn’t like me mate
with your whingeing Reading ways and opinions,
your bulging stomach and incredulous look:
‘With the best will in the world gentlemen,
and I hate to say this, but you cannot let Mr Saynor
do that to you’ he said on the one occasion
I could train with the first team
despite playing for the same club with them every week.
He got me once; now he’s done it again.
What is this bizarre universe
that repeats its irrelevant lessons
and strange humiliations? Why do I have to sit with this fellow
whose judgement and opinion I so disrespect
and go through the motions of politeness.
How do I get this off my chest?
I can’t say ‘I was really quite good; ask Mr Rooke.’
‘Who have you played for since’ he would say,
the moaning Reading fan who moans at Reading fans,
sits in the same seat and groans at everyone he sees,
manages the school team but stops supporters singing.
Who are you really? How did you get me again?
Adult protocols say ‘leave it to the past.’
Try to make friends. You got me once;
I could leave it there – but now you’ve got me again!
I sat next to him at Parents’ Evening;
‘Your son has the attention span of a dead newt.’
What an opening line; what a plan
for survival from the child to be a newt,
deceased, to his Jeremy Clarkson,
his bullshit bluster, his empty lessons.
He got me once, and he got me twice
after seventeen years in between;
now God forbid I meet him again.