I am walking beneath the night and the moonless black
and the dog is loose and running towards the railway track
and I can still see you, defeated but not defeated.
Did I ever tell you my grandfather, the dead one,
played for Everton, near lost his left arm
to a poisoned Prince Rupert’s Tower tattoo? Your arm is a grand arm.
I don’t like the Belgians anymore , mainly Fellaini,
and when Lukaku scored did you regret
that time you gave him a lift home after training. You bought him a Mars Bar.
Your beard is glorious and subtle.
Your hands are glorious and subtle.
I read that soccer is a sign of your nation’s moral decline. Don’t ever decline.
Where do you live? Is it near me? If I keep walking tonight
will I pass your house and see it empty and lightless and cold?
As empty as the net you guarded, for a while at least.
As lightless as Soldier Field once the believers lost belief.
As cold as the ice bath where you plunge your raw hands
and try to forget the man-child De Bruyne running at you.
Don’t let Kevin De Bruyne bring you down.
Don’t let Romelu nark you.
Don’t let your hands become still. Never still.
Don’t let your nation become confused by stoppage time.
Don’t let this night feel so heavy and dark.
Don’t let the dog cross the railway tracks. Save him.
Michael Egan is from Liverpool. He writes poetry and fiction. He is currently working on his second collection 'Unsonnets''. He co-runs the poetry night Storm and Golden Sky. His favourite goalkeeper of all time is Michael 'Ironing-Board' Stensgaard. His favourite TEAM USA goalkeeper is probably Tony Meola. He blogs here http://michaeleganpoetry.wordpress.com