Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Work Shy - Gerard Fanning

When Don Givens made off with a treble clef
from the USSR’s hammer and sickle,
I was skiving off with the backroom boys,
though in truth it could hardly have been me
in that real sense, since I’d yet to make out
in the cause of employment or recompense.
Phibsboro Tower gave off its usual blank stare –
the north face of ambition perhaps –
as our comrades, out to test the rub of Dalymount,
made a fuss on those sheets of asbestos,
otherwise the stands. And there were even a few
who managed to leave the buff files
of sob stories from deserted wives,
to abseil in, while I foolishly enquired,
below that famous roar as to what was going
down up there that could ever have held
so many beguiled while giving so little care
to the punishing nutmegs of Giles and Brady,
Brady and Giles. And if this were Subbuteo
on immaculate baize, the seasoned few
who attend out of duty from outlying steppes,
would pass hush-hush notes for future show trials
in some disputed off side. Left with the odour
of Don Givens’ flicks and feints, and a sombre
nicotine pall from the Soviet bench,
I was unable to parry that insistence, and moved
to embrace the allure of long afternoons,
dozing while ignoring all talk of futures,
derivatives, or contracts for difference.

Gerard Fanning (1952 - 2017) Ireland
Source: The High Window Issue 5 Spring 2017

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