The Football Writer’s Love Song.

Dip those boots in ink, you men,
And write your names on this green page,
Surnames only, first names when
I leave the box, the wooden cage,
And see you in a one-to-one.

You feign to be the put-upon,
No eye-to-eye with this old sage,
A few rushed words and then you’re gone,
A moment shared on this great stage,
Post match you’re still as fleet and fast!

But what a game! And at the last
The floated pass that took an age
To meet the stretching player, passed
The stretching hands that failed to gauge
The cursive loop from foot to head.

It left the opposition dead,
Their story on the spike, unread.
Full stop. New game, fresh ink, new stage,
Dip those boots, we turn the page.

David Hulme