Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Veteran Of The 5s Scene

Veteran of the 5's Scene - by Stephen Watt, DFC Poet in Residence

In a half-lit car park, the First Lady
of the Veteran of the 5's Scene
stops, dropping him off
in a smudged, greasy Fiesta
inscribed with the words 'Wash me, please'
slid across it's bonnet, wing mirror to wing mirror

as he empties last week's rubber pellets
from the boots which haunted
the under-stairs cupboard.
Boots which caused the cat to faint,
the budgie –

murdered.

Not drugs but studs, purchased on the dark web,
are welded. Other lads in the changing room
drop their stare as he runs through drills in the toilets
where he kisses his shin-guards,
turning on the rusty taps
to slick his hair back

before committing a prayer
to Matt Le Tissier.

Seagulls, upon punctured leaking warehouse tin roofs,
cheer each time he passes
or imitate the squawk of pestilent youths
drinking cheap spirits with no need for glasses,
that like to jeer all the atrocious efforts
which soar over on to other pitches.

Today, he plays for PSV Silverton.
Next week, he plays for Unathletico Madrid.
He's a Veteran of the 5's Scene,
living the amateur dream;
doing it for the love of the bib.

Next poem - Scapegoat