Tuesday, 3 July 2018

On the Outside Courts

On the outside courts,
Corner cutters come first.
As back handers hit lines,
Catch the chalk,
The crowds gawp,
At what they’ve just seen.
The passing shots are at
Those stuck on an
Economic baseline.
As negligence nails
Another opponent;
We ask the umpire,
If this weighted game
Is going to plan.
The first service
Rule of responsibility
Is the ability to respond
React ably, quickly.
To defend with
Some balls.
To serve with some spare
In your pockets,
As rockets will
Whistle past ears.

The officials must show
That they know
What responsibility means,
If they want the pay and prestige
Of the umpire’s chair.
There’s no time for inaction,
It’s time to show
They actually care.
They see, but don't speak,
As smashes flash past
Flailing rackets
And settle in the cheap seats.
But despite this criminally weak
Officiation,
For the supposed good of the nation,
The game goes on.

On the outside courts,
The yellow-napped attacks
Thud into advertising hoardings.
According to the law of averages,
It's meant to be
Back and forth,
But for each game forward,
There’s more broken back.
As the means tested
Are denied a safety net.
Justice unravels,
Like a councillors expense receipt.
Deceit is the disease,
That brings to the knees,
Those who feel the squeeze,
Who play gruelling
Five-setters every day,
Against the top seeds
Come what may.
Though there is
"No way" they are told
Again and again that
They can conceive
Anything but defeat.

But believe, that one day,
On the outside courts,
Someone in a fifteenth floor
Summer window,
Who's not the colour of cream,
Will let in a cooling breeze,
To go with sweet sweet strawberries,
See a fair match,
And life could be a dream.

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