She had worn referee black to commemorate his passing;
and his tackling and his shooting.
Nephews and nieces found it confusing
that birthday cards were only signed by their aunt –
assuming that their uncle was away on business overseas
until he slid past on his knees with the cat on his head.
He had been practising that one in bed.
Often, when the first teal line of daylight revealed itself,
the ripples of the sheets where he had lain
were already cool to touch. The staircase belched
as slippers urged floorboards to hush
on his way downwards to the teams
he had dreamed of while they had been making love.
She winced at his attempts to sound Dutch.
Crowd noises and the tap-tap-tap-tap of his fingers
rapped on the control pad. The monotone voices
of commentators jarred through all times of the day.
Besides the odd grunt, all he had to say
was to the supermarket delivery man
about tactics and hat-tricks; home games, away.
It wasn’t long before she too began to play away.
It felt fresh. Exciting. Biting on her neck, she urged her new lover
to run his fingers into the wide channels, tackle hard
using his man at the back; to take away her legs
then press on quickly with a counter-attack.
Her entire body flushed like a red card.
She made her excuses while shaking his hand
then screamed as she rushed out to the garden path.
Back. Brainwashed and out of breath.
She collapsed on the couch, allowing the green meth
of the computerised pitch to makes wreaths of her eyes.
Then much to his disbelief, in calmness and composure,
she reached down the side for the second controller
and pointing towards the TV
she pressed the button for ‘Player B’.
Copyright © Stephen Watts 2014
Stephen Watt is a poet and performer from Glasgow whose debut collection “Spit” was published in March 2012. Stephen has successfully won national competitions on both the page and stage over the last year.