in the rooms

Poem #38 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction

have you been in the rooms
before they come out to play
while they’re all milling around
in half-states of pulling on shorts
kicking the ball to each other
and clacking precariously on timber floors
in black boots with leather stops
tapped in tight by the studder
mr jackson
who looks after the mental hospital garden
during the rest of the week

the boys are all shining from oil rubbed on
and the room reeks of the liniment they use
so I can hardly breathe
but I drag the air in deep
until I can feel menthol down to my toes
and I become a bit like these fellows
who are about to take the field on my behalf
and for a little town that manages to grow mighty
for two hours each winter saturday afternoon

two at a time
they lie full stretch on the bench
muscles gleam
loose and smooth
and moving
as though they have a life of their own
under the fast sliding hands
of the white-overalled trainer
who taught woodwork
to my class at school just yesterday

come on you supporters
gather round in a circle just behind the players
a bit of shoosh please
the coach has got a few words to say
before the game starts

about doing it for the town
about doing it for the team
about doing it for each other

let’s do it
‘carn the bombers!

© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 39: football and law


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