Edited Highlights

Who needs all ninety minutes? You can watch
edited highlights - they’re more than enough:
The only things  that matter in a match,
all of it end to end, exciting stuff.
Do-or-die tackles, every pass spot on,
each shot a screamer fit to burst the net,
the Beautiful Game with all the dull bits gone
s what we want. The rest you can forget.

Off-screen, it’s different. Real life’s not about
winning the league, the lifting of a cup.
The moves break down, the build-ups fizzle out.
Hanging around when people don't turn up,
waiting to get the ball back from the crowd:
that's the real game. The bulk of it is dud.
The goals are flukes or cruelly disallowed.
Most of my life, I've slogged through midfield mud.

David Whippman

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