Playing Football Against Myself
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Against the kerb, I’d kick the ball,
Between two marks in stone-etched scrawl.
Left foot, right foot, left foot, right
Underneath the neon light.
First to hundred, let’s begin.
My right foot always seemed to win.
Hours and hours till mother’s call
I’d pound that balding tennis ball.
Beneath a car parked down the street?
The rules ensured you couldn’t cheat –
One free drop from where it lay
And then you had to play away.
A car approaching? Start again
For neither foot deserves to gain.
A miss is only deemed a flop
Whene’er the ball’s at complete stop.
An easier game was never reffed –
Right foot, left foot, right foot, left.
You shouldn’t really let it bounce,
Or else the other foot might pounce
And, with an angled drive, convey
The ball a hundred yards away
(From where the other foot would try
Receiving it with careful eye)
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But if a Garda on the beat
Should turn the corner of the street,
I’d grab the ball and run inside
Until his slow and measured stride
Had passed my reddened guilt-strewn door
And disappeared round thirty four.
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