Autumn afternoons with my father, driving to Bath to see the rugby.
Parking next to the weir, tall houses, now offices all around.
Walking through ancient stone lined streets.
Looking into shop windows, soaking up the history.
Along the river, heavy and rapid with the rain.
Crunching over the grass, towards the recreation ground.
Feeling the expectant atmosphere from all around us.
I wonder how many sons and fathers have walked this same way.
The crowds are already gathering as we take our place.
Standing on the cold stone steps, no seats here.
Sucking in the aroma of a hot pasty in one hand, coffee in the other.
Waiting for the white, black and blue shirts to arrive.
We both want the same thing, for Bath to win,
a common goal against the opposing team.
We talk about life and work, the future and plans.
We can talk here, these are the times I feel close to him.
We watch the cut and thrust of the game, it's a close match.
Surrounded by the crowd, squeezed shoulder to shoulder,
everyone cheering their teams, shouting at the top of their voices.
Like ancient war cries, full of heart and soul.
Bath may lose, we join the crowd, grown silent these past few minutes.
Nobody breathing just watching the game,
not daring to think, just worried faces.
A chance, a score, the final whistle! The crowd roar!
We hug each other with tears of joy in our eyes and broken voices,
jumping like mad men, united with happiness.
(c) 28 November 1998 19:03, Fnagaton.