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Garrincha

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 There is a magnificent white tomb
In a small cemetry
At Raiz da Serra in Brazil
A monument to Miguel Campos
A footballer for the local team,
Vila Atletico Clube.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Miguel never brought Brazil to her feet.
Miguel never touched Jules Rimet.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Unlike Garrincha.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 In 1958, you were spectacular!
In 1962, you were God!

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 How can one man rule the world?

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 Ask Garrincha.
The angel with bent legs,
Who won the World Cup
Alone .

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 The history books should read,
1962, World Cup winners-Garrincha

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Miguel did not see your first triumph,
And missed the final masterpiece.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 He died in 1957, aged twenty five,
It says in gilt, on the front of his tomb
That stands so tall amongst
The slanted slabs of sad grey,
That are the final shrines
To so many departed people.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 The neighbour with whom you shared many a night.
The doctor who cared for your sick child,
The father of your best friend.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 Each one loved and remembered.
look at the yellow of the small futile flowers.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 There is another grave here
Different from the rest
where no flowers sit.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 In the shadow of Miguel’s tomb
Lies the final home of Garrincha
Quiet and unkempt.

Notes

I was inspired to write this poem when reading Alex Bellos’ book “Futebol: The brazilian way of Life”. The idea for the poem came from the moment in the book when the author visits Garrincha’s grave.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/garrincha/