Sudden Death

no gate

Sudden Death

The game goes on, despite the news,
Despite the empty stands –
No pre-match build up now, of course,
No captains shaking hands.
With silence as the coin is tossed,
But not born of suspense –
Then the ref’s whistle deafens
But you couldn’t call it tense.
The sound of boot-on-ball
And teammate calls are very clear
Even from the back row,
Has the action felt so near ?
Except, from our separate sofas
On this long, long afternoon,
They might as well be playing
On the far side of the Moon.
The empty seating does not care
What happens down the wing
And though the cameras catch it all,
Their ops don’t want to sing.
Like a stand-up cracking belters in rehearsal
To an empty hall,
The elephant in the stadium’s
Not trumpeting at all.
A goal is barely celebrated,
No-one’s bellicose –
Their tackles are half-hearted,
They’re unsure of getting close.
A pigeon pecks the touchline
And the players work their shift –
As if the world has changed the channel,
Cutting them adrift.
It all feels rather academic,
Pondering the score –
For does a lonely goal still count
If no-one’s there to roar ?

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