A mucky field in the middle of the monsoon,

And so many people, their faces

Dipped in sunlight and half-interest, and their hands

Clapped together, as the seconds draw closer.

One person out of nine, one person out of fifteen

Isn't much, but I stood, and I ran and sometimes,

I felt the ground move underneath, and my feet

Kicked out cakes of soil, a dirty ball, thin air.

Scores only become important later, when

The last whistle means the last time you have

To blow the strands of hair, always in the way,

Out of the way. The field seemed smaller afterward,

The pitch far dirtier. Slushy studs sinking in,

And then banging against concrete as we trooped

To lunch. And another whistle blew, on another court.