You’re the bicycle kick in extra time
every time you enter a room–
back of the net or ballooned
into the stands. Pumped up
with a tough exterior, you’re subtler
than you let on, the dummy
or nutmeg that sees you caught, mid-
action, centre stage for the frantic
ninety minutes. But I remember you
with the fondness of kickabouts,
rough and ready as jumpers for goalposts,
the pair of us stood in the week-long rain
of the long summer holidays.
Deflated, weathered, all but done,
you always picked yourself up.
You always played on.