Spitting Cherries At Old Trafford.

The black stitched cherry

being tossed down the pitch

is turned away for the deft quick single,

the sly look of happiness

on the batsman face as he outwits the wicket

keeper is all too evident

through my binoculars, purchased by my wife

for days such as this,

not a ship sailing on the edge of the horizon,

but to witness the glorious catch

of the fielder on the other side of the ropes, down

in the Noir of Third Man, one inch from a six.

The singles rack up, the odd four and wicket

taken here and there, then the explosion

of willow on leather and high against the Warwick Road sun,

the ball tumbles down, hurtling

meteor dust trailing

in its wake and the fielder  steadies himself

for glory or for ridicule from all sections of the stand

behind him, vocally cheering him

to make their mobile phone caught pictures

the talk of Manchester tonight.

He steadies himself as the batsman sweats,

cherry, meteor, mockery, hero worship,

fumbled catch, dropped to the floor

like a hot potato in slippery hands,


cleanly taken, red welts appearing,

brushed aside, out

caught and heavens shining down on Old Trafford,

the choir singing his name…

through binocular lenses,

I sense Old Trafford tense

and await

the outcome of the last ball of the day.


Ian D. Hall 2017