Terry Greatrex

Terry Greatrex is a New Zealander, who has just returned home after teaching in universities in China and Kazakhstan.

 

After breaking my collar bones three times playing rugby and league, I decided to quit, but the sense of loss has always remained. Hence the poem.

 



My Place

This used to be my place; the ground, the posts.
This sideline
a kind of animal dip for external parasites

like cleanliness and manners and compromise. Bugger them.
I’d cross it
dirtier, purer, more me, more

me; a surer me where direction was clear,
the rules were
known, the enemy there in front of you,

cheating bastards you’d smash with a shoulder (and arms of course),
the ref your
flanker’s uncle, or theirs. This place. This space.

I watch now from the bug-infested side
the cleansing
mud; but once, this place, this clarifying space,

was mine.