In Gabriels pub the match is on
a massive, plasma, wall-mounted screen.
Scotland have won the toss, Nil Nil.

A granny in a pink plastic coat
nudges beside us, takes a sip
of lager from her half pint glass,
tells us that she had to have
her dog put down this afternoon.

Ian thinks at first she said Son;
he may have misheard, the crowd is loud.
Scotland are holding on, we’re calm.

I miss him a lot, he was just this big
she says, and demonstrates her claim;
a foot of space between her palms.
We try our best not to catch her eye.

It’s nice to have … Ukraine have scored
in darkest Kiev, the clock ticks on.
We watch the drama of life unfold:
red offences, homer ref,
goal-line punts, theatrical dives.
He was thirteen, and had all his teeth.

A last minute penalty bulges the net,
she asks the barstaff to call her a cab.
Ian thinks at first she said Son.
He may have misheard, the time is loud.

Scotland are passing out, we’re done.
I always fed him chicken and veg,
dog food’s crap.
Scotland are mince.

Graham Fulton

If you have any comments on this poem, Graham Fulton would be pleased to hear from you.