Oxley Juniors 1972-76

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Its dusk and Mr Mochrie sweeps the streets of suburban Brisbane
Bundling the kids of printers, plumbers, labourers into his station wagon
Unbound, bouncing around as coconuts until the last pick up presses
The poor primary occupant against the rear window, struggling for space and air

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 An expat painter, he had an army of his kids of his own in this new land
But his love of football led him to coach and cajole a gaggle of untrainable boys
Spiriting us to Dunlop Park, surrounded by brooding, empty industrial sheds
Bestowing the basics in his gentle brogue to unlistening, ungrateful eight year olds

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Each Thursday, he’d tear a butcher’s sheet into twelve, his earnest school boy writing
Crafted onto each, noting the far flung location of Saturday’s challenge
Annerley, Wynnum, Redlands, Ipswich, Merton East or Mt Gravatt
To have kept just one of his notes, but they, like those days, have disappeared

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Boiled sweet uniformed, Sunderland striped, freshly laundered and black numbered
He’d herd us onto the match day park so we could forget all he had taught
A 22 red-legged machine chasing eternity across some dusty, windswept paddock
Twice a year his post-match temper would erupt, as we studied our feet or the sky

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 The boys are now all older than he was then and dispersed by time and fate
On last meeting him he was older, smaller, more distant and distracted
He’s gone but its uncertain as to when and how; a sad realisation surfaces –
I never knew his first name, nor did I ever take the small step of thanking him


Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/oxley-juniors-1972-76/