Poems: Jumpers for goalposts by Paz Bassra

Jumpers for Goalposts

I remember yesteryear, a young lad in a Bull number 9 shirt jumps in the air.
“Over here!” I scream,
so does Mum,
“Your tea’s on the table! And afterwards times-tables to be done!”
“9pm sharpish is bedtime young man.”
He dreams a little dream of games to be had.

Tuck time: Panda Pop on the go, jumpers for goalposts.
“Over here!” I scream.
Stevie’s on the ball à la Graeme Le Saux.
Sweet left peg and a tackle to boot.
Me at the front; ready to shoot.
We’ll play for England! One day we all should.
The cross comes and I miss it by inches,
the Dinnerlady on patrol definitely flinches.
It was marginal, like Gazza’s chance in the semi; Euro ’96.
A match between Germany and England superseding The Blitz.
I’ll ghost to that front jumper again,
I can be Barcelona’s next Jari Litmanen.
Tuck time is over, a whistle has blown.

It’s Brazil versus England in the lunchtime battle!
Bam! A good old concrete tackle.
Get up from the floor: ripped trousers, grazed knee.
I’ve got a feeling Mum’s going to be buying a new pair angrily.
Tennis Ball, Floater or Caser doesn’t affect
whether I can be Adams, Shearer or Best.
Long ball comes in and lands on my chest,
it’s dropped down … and … “YES! OH YES!”
“Sheringham has scored!” John Motson yells in my head.
We’ve won the World Cup, beaten Year 6 again.
I got to the ‘post’ and pulled out a gem!
Stevie’s come over and he’s patting my back,
I think I’ve got what Hansen calls “the Goalpoacher’s Knack.”

I come back to today,
A young lad in a Kightly number 7 shirt walking my way.
Grass stains on his knees, in his mind analysing the game.
He’ll tell his Dad his exploits and the runs that he made.
He’ll tell his mates his new boots will make him pretty great.

By Paz Bassra



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