Categories
poem rugby women in sport

Game Day

Game day

Thanks to friends and teammates for your ideas!

When you get your hair pleated, eye-burstingly tight,

your pulse pounding to changing room tunes.

0

When your shorn nails pant through the warm up,

and you realise the whole game is still to play.

0

When you nerve and breathe and need to pee the moments

before kick-off, praying the ball won’t come to you,

o

too scared you’ll drop it. When the first tackle splats

you in the icy mud, and you’re shocked and nearly

0

too lazy to get up, but your fly-half ships

the ball out, and the winger makes a break,

0

punts it to the try-line, opposition falling

at her ankles as she scores.

0

When there’s a knock-on and your pack

prowls to the scrum, growling we’ve got this.  

0

When your hair tie’s slowly coming loose,

fringe creeping over eyes, until

0

halftime: orange slices, breathing hard,

told off and encouraged and it all begins again.

0

In the lineout, when codes are shouted to confuse

but the hands holding you up are strong

0

and certain. Everything goes right. When the ball

smacks your palm, then off to your scrumhalf.

0

When a girl runs at you, ball in hand, and

you slo-mo see that she’s stepped you a belter –

0

you land face first in the dirt, mortified,

until your teammate halves them:

0

you thank fuck for which team you’re on.

When, knackered, you think it must be close

0

to done, but the ref says that’s us ten minutes in

When, determined to make up for a missed tackle,

0

you hit hard, in sync with your teammate,

who shoots you a gumshieldy grin.

0

When suddenly the game is almost over.

When your team is ruler straight on your own

ten metre line, having slugged a scrappy match –

every single one of you defends your tits off.

0

The hugs and handshakes, team photos.

When you clack clods of dirt from your boots

before the changing rooms. When your waning

adrenaline brings you to tears on the toilet.

0

When you peel off a damp bra, listening to Lizzo,

scrubbing at your muddy icy skin in a beautiful

0

hot shower. When, win or lose, you sing and booze.

When your team’s so close they help you write a poem.