The biggest game, the culmination
of a fading season brought pause
to fans ranged across the masonry
of ancient stands in rival colours.
Penalties. The terminal feedback
of defeat, the draughtsman’s empty page
for another long summer rebuild
of character, transfer targets
hit or missed like the penalties
which defined the budget
as a final kick made one team
wheel away to different premises
and another slump on the pitch,
final shot missed, terminal feedback
the message of the year.