What prizes are there for the also rans
who cross the line when the crowd has long gone home?
The water’s cold by the time they take their shower.
Their task’s to clap when the cups are handed out.

They’re the cannon fodder in the general’s plans,
the hero’s minor, overshadowed chum;
the girl whose best friend exercises power
by a put-down, or a present, or a pout.

Will the day come when they rise as one to claim
the right to be recognised for their bit part
in the epic film in which they’re bound, and wait

as a trap to lure the star whose Oscared name
will be up there in the credits? Has the world no heart? -
They also serve, if only as the bait.

Tom Vaughan

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