england ’til i die

‘england ’til i die’
tattooed on your heart,
you fought your way through
tigers, cobras, and many other
foreign lagers,
and became a visiting virtuoso
of the vussing vuvuzela,
and did not riot at all
(nor hardly)
for any perceived honour lost
on the four-one field,
and for that,
o fans great thanks.

bill shankly said,
‘football isn’t life & death,
it’s more important than that’
and while i take his point,
i can’t help but observe
that non-one actually died
on the field of bloemfontaine,
at least not this time around.

for we can lose
and live with ourselves
and the old enemy,
and say
‘no really we were sooo rubbish,
you were far better on the day’,
and look, there was singing & beer
and great facepaint,
and no-one died,
no not even when that obvious
2-2 equalizer
was so scandalously disallowed,
and for that good lads great thanks,
‘england til i die’
tattooed over your heart,
but not here,
and not today.

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