The wrong side of the tracks
locomotives strain and moan a quarter mile north
houses built without frill
homes for foundry men, sawmillers, road workers
boilermakers, longshoremen, shunters.
The blue-collar invisible providing the visible
the streets born as thin twigs from avenue branches
patience not required for driving or parking
vehicle ownership still a distant distraction.
The park is utilitarian square
equal sides carved from farmland
framed by non pedigree trees
six decades cannot make handsome.
Squatting in permanent shadow
bunkered single level amenities
from within Soviet walls players emerge.
Physiques and clothing match
less than perfect
both remember better times.
Shouts and sweat
cheers and groans from the crowd
easily fitted into a dozen cars
frequent laughter responding
to on field pantomimes of self-deprecation
both teams pleased.
Sport. Like religion grown to an industry
offering career path
players play for enjoyment
for pride of neighbourhood
for love of the game.
Love of the game
emptied from the game plan of the national team
by the frantic stridency of marketers and sponsors
a ghost two decades old now.
For the back story click Backstage
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