Following the Game

By | 18 March 2003

lime cordial summers
the telly murmured three day tests
in the only room with a fan
we would end up there, collapsed
in cut-off jeans
with the white lethargy of school holidays
we lay looselimbed and aching with the wait
Colombo's sunshine looked like chrome
the players moved sluggish
in the tropical heat
roused themselves again
and again to run
trickled down our adolescent cleavage
as we watched, sucking icecubes
the fan's face a mechanical, slow motion negation
the ball clocked gently
so much molten time
that rhythmic, momentary taste
of moving air
we wanted the burning vinyl of benchseats
boys who smelled of petrol
a cool change, quickening pulses
wanted a roar. wickets flying, limbs
taut with anticipation
total fire ban, day after day
the hot concrete
stretched like a glaring empty pitch to the Hill's Hoist
those storm clouds massed
waiting for release
the supporters' slow clap
building, poised:
a drum roll

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