Being Roberto Baggio
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I went to the fair with my nephew,
Rememb’ring a tune vaguely sung.
And the bright, gaudy lights
And the stall-holders’ yells,
And the fun-laden sights
And the redolent smells
Made me hark back to when I was young.
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There were so many stalls to encapture
The minds of the young girls and boys.
And we wandered around,
Feeling cocky and flash,
Till we suddenly found
We had halved all our cash
In the fun and the lights and the noise.
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Then Emmet, who thinks he’s Ronaldo,
He spotted a football skill’s stall.
And he asked, “Uncle Pete,
Can we give it a go?
I’ve got lucky feet
‘Cos my dad told me so,
And so far, we’ve won nothing at all.”
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“Kick a ball through the square or triangle
And you win any prize on the shelf.”
That’s what the sign read,
And although it seemed fun,
It was easier said
Than was actually done,
But I paid up, in spite of myself.
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We took it in turns with the spot kicks –
Emmet went first and then me.
Our first four shots missed,
Struck squarely on wood.
The stall-holder hissed
That we weren’t very good,
And, in truth, I was bound to agree.
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Then Emmet, to my abject horror,
Struck shot number five through the hole.
And he hollered with glee,
Pulled his shirt o’er his head,
And then, turning to me,
In a loud voice he said
“Now let’s see you scoring a goal!”
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This sudden death kick was now vital
To restore my young nephew’s respect.
Though staring at Hell,
I approached it with ease,
But I knew very well
That I hadn’t a breeze,
And the night at the fair had been wrecked.
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I had visions of Baggio’s penno,
Of Woodgate and Batty and Pearse.
And my legs seemed to melt,
And my brow split in creases,
And I definitely felt
I was going to pieces,
For the pain in my lungs was so fierce.
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The pressure was well nigh unbearable,
And the fun of the night seemed to pall,
For I missed by a mile,
And young Emmet laughed loud.
Though I tried hard to smile,
Still I silently vowed
I would never again kick a ball.
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