Daily Bread

We learn names fast 
on this street 
by watching footwork 
hearing them chant 
for whoever holds court 
a victory at their feet 
that can’t be bought 

Scuffed school shoes 
toeing the ball  
this way, that
lost again in seconds flat 
again, again, again 
cawing verbs, begging 
for a battered balloon
a sphere so tattered 
one could assume 
it nears death 

Again, for it they call 
a squalling clutch of baby birds 
leak, lank 
breathing cold air  
like ship steam 
bolting up the flank –
the hot chimneys  
of their unblemished lungs 
pumping fuel 
a scrabble, a dance 
none too cool for 
rough knees and shins 

Their backwards prance 
gains pace, with speed 
stab and volley 
thrilled, each shriek in kind 
as the ball flies upwards 
they gaze, running blind 
their ragged god  
lost in the winter sun 

Author: ataraxicat

All characters and events are fictitious, probably.

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