Back Foot Defensive

Hed been a county cricketer,
journeyman all-rounder.
An appealing appearance,
clothing always cut
to a perfect line and length,
except for that affair
when his wife was possessed
with a pair of garden shears.
Always on his guard,
back foot defensive -
I had to find out about him
in his case-notes and Wisden.
He was treated each pre-season
with a course of ECT,
a means of punishing himself
for the times he got caught out
and those occasions since
hed edged between the slips.
It was the manly way to face up,
like going out to bat
without gloves and pads,
when the opposition pacemen
were electric.
Six treatments to a course
and when it was all over,
the long walk back
from the crease to the pavilion.
The vision slowly clearing
to a spatter of applause,
a pat on the shoulder,
a memory that never
will quite recover.
His wife with a pencil
and scorecard in hand.

Raymond Miller

If you have any thoughts about this poem, Raymond Miller would be pleased to hear them