It's just a kick around this Sunday. The end of the season Motherwell vs. Wishaw, everyone's here.
Passing back and forth, translucence an advantage, Maclean claims having lost a tackle – he didn't see him coming.
Donovan mutters it was offside but hasn’t the heart to contest the ref; even he knows it’s wrong to speak ill of the dead.
Half time oranges for the lads with black bands, no sustenance required for the others.
Children cheer them on, parents laugh, arms linked worn faces and Thermos’ steaming as booted and fleeced on the sidelines, Granny heckles from a deckchair.
A break from the daily grind or lack thereof in Ravenscraig. Past shuttered shop fronts, Ladbrokes and pawn shops wanting gold to have a moment with a tealight, beneath flowers crucified on a steel gate.
Framed photographs propped against palisade swords, going dark at the edges where the rain bled in, warping sun-bleached smiles of the ones who called time on themselves.
Neat passes between the brothers − a race up the midfield Lewis scores, does his signature run and swoop a kiss for the wife, feet not touching the floor.
In the pub afterwards they celebrate with a pint clinking glasses and laughter, a weak echo reverberating around the rim.
Cracked eyes, smiles fade to grey. Mum's doing a roast later, but these are the lost boys who won’t ever find their way home.
Biography: Vic Pickup’s poetry has featured in a number of magazines and webzines over the last two decades. She is a previous winner of the Café Writers competition, with her poem about a Bosnian chicken, and was recently shortlisted for the National Poetry Day #speakyourtruth competition. In 2018, Vic co-founded the Inkpot Writer’s Group in the Hampshire village where she lives with her husband, three children and (of course) her pet chicken.