Walking to the Match

Going to the Match
                                                                                                            L. S. Lowry                         

 Pauline Coddington ( A Footballer's guide to Feltmaking).

Scarves out and the van parked.
The corner turned and a grab of the arm leads the way to the centre of the Universe.
Walking down Longshut Lane past Muslim men in robes who pray to their own Mecca.
Via the pub and the scent of an aromatic shrub,
through the estate where lines of loose jeans appear from every direction, following and leading,
all in uniformed kit and discussing what will evolve;
like an army under a self-imposed command to come together for an uncertain fate.
Mercian Way in sight and caught in the fast track bound for the pitch.
No looking behind, to the side, up or down – only in front.
Stepping carefully between the puddles,
following the orbit of club culture.
Reaching the point of no return where a seller of programmes and a leggy cheerleader
lurk to catch the crowd and call in the coins.
Down the dark diagonal, the unlit narrow path,
Through the car park, past the fast food and the fast boys,
to our Lady of the Turnstile, who gathers all in to her grassy fold.


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