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RED SHIFT

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 I got my first red shift moment in 1960,
It was near Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London,
When sister Fliss with husband Rod helped me peek behind the veil,
And I peopled my footsteps with the dead great and glorious,
And I saw and heard them all, as they courteously passed me by;
This was a signal moment for me, the time when History
Became something beyond and outside just books,
And became fey and oddly real and spectral:
I sort of entered a parallel universe, I suppose.
I’ve never forgotten that childhood moment,
It’s helped me find the ordinary fascinating,
Like today, out walking with Rod and Felicity again.
We were ambling through Woodchester Park,
Discussing the Robins’ two game mini-revival,
Looking for a celandine and primrose path to the play-offs,
Until a woody 7 miles and a couple of pints at the Ram,
Brought us to the site of the famous Orpheus mosaic,
The finest Roman mosaic north of the Alps,
A mosaic that was once revealed every ten years,
But that now lies permanently buried,
A bit like memory.
The three of us were last here forty four years ago,
And Rod took photographs of us in the same spots as before,
And Fliss pointed out where Dad once bent down
To examine some tesserae and subtle fine print,
While we worked out where the subterranean floor must be,
And where the marquees and stalls and notices once were,
And where mum once stood smiling and watching;
And for a moment we heard all our yesterdays’ voices once more,
And there we were, buying our commemorative pamphlet again –
And who’s to say our smudged black and white ghosts
Won’t reappear on today’s quick time developed colour snaps,
And who’s to say that this time I won’t be allowed to stay up late
For another game of three and in penalties with Rod?
Who says the past is another country?
Red Shift, I say.
Three and in.

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/red-shift/