On Being Told That Your Knee Is Knackered
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“You’ve got ulcerated bone where the tibia meets the femur.”
“What’s that mean then?”
“It means you’ll never kick a ball again, son.”
“What, no more lying horizontal to the Earth’s surface,
Three feet up in the air,
And scoring with a flying volley?
No more flinging your coats down on the ground
And arguing whether it’s in or hit the post?
No more of that embarrassing jumping to head the ball
With your eyes closed?
No more chesting the ball down
And moving inside the full back
With one sinuous movement?
No more being picked first?
No more trying to impress the girls on the touchline
By wearing your shirt outside your baggy shorts?
No more raising your right arm aloft,
Fingers clutching your cuff,
Just like Denis Law?
No more creasing your brow
And anxiously shouting “How long to go, ref.?
No more bringing your muddied kit and boots home,
For your poor exploited mum to clean?
No more pretending to be somebody else?
(Bags I’m Bobby Charlton)
No more endless childhood
And infinite immortality?
¶ 2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 “That’s right, Mr. Butler. Time’s up. Next please.”26
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