When It Was My Time

A humble tribute to all of those on-field heroes, who hung up their boots and the relevance of support in sport. You could almost read this poem with anyone you want in mind, Michael Jordan or Taufiq Hidayat, Babe Ruth or Steffi Graf, Sachin Tendulkar or, as I did, Raul Gonzalez.

Chequered scarves adorning my torso,
An entire coliseum eyeing my figurine.
On some faces the pleasant display of adoration,
The invocation of nostalgia on the rest.
One ensign shimmering fearlessly against the force of the wind at the fag end of my world,
The other wrapped firmly around my waist.

Those were the days when it was, indeed, my time.
Those were the days when you’d think I owned the stadia,
The city, the country, the mainland, the world.
And afraid I am not, to admit,
That, indeed, so I did.

So used was I to the call of a stranger,
On flights away.
They say the sanctity of detachment is all that reverberates in your eardrums as you depart,
To me, all it was, was my own name.
To think I can pull it off no longer,
Puts me to unwarranted shame.

I thought we were a forever of sorts.
When I first put on that shirt.
Truth be told, forever is a myth benign.
And we all buy into it.
No fairytale comes without an ending.
And I was well aware of that factoid.
What I was of not, however, was that there was life beyond it.

Rude shocks and pale-stained faces,
Became nightly visitors.
Unwelcome visitors.
Bouts of tears uninterrupted, faces ripped with concern staring into my very being.
They called my cheekbones hollow.
Now that seems to be a synonym for my soul.

Gone but never forgotten.
The note said.
The social media accounts reiterated.
The sounds of wails shook me in my hollow tin chest.
Took me just two days to feel unloved again.

Chequered scarves adorning my torso,
An entire coliseum eyeing my figurine.
On some faces the pleasant display of adoration,
The invocation of nostalgia on the rest.
One ensign shimmering fearlessly against the force of the wind at the fag end of my world,
The other wrapped firmly around my waist.

This is the present, my time is in the past
But they remain unchanged
I do not think I own the stadia forthwith,
Or the city, or the country, or the mainland, or the world.
But they begged to differ,
They thought, and probably still do, that I owned the stadia,
The city, the country, the mainland, the world.
And in that moment,
Afraid I am not, to admit,
That, indeed, so I did.

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