Wednesday, June 30, 2010

At Auskick

At Auskick.
On the ground!
…and up doggy!

Mac, the kid I hit in the head with the first footy I kicked in forty years, is being instructed by the coach. Lets go! Mac! Lets go! After the ball hit inattentive Mac he ran to his mother flung himself and clung like the creature in Patricia Piccinini’s The Embrace. Nearby coach told me not to worry. Don’t worry we do it all the time. But I did worry it was a hard direct kick. The kind of kick I had taught myself in games of street footy when wiry boys tried to scare me off by kicking hard. Any tips from my father were casual. I was never going to make the team, never win fairest and best, never play in a premiership side, never be man enough to join the boys’ club.

Mac’s father arrives. He uses man strength to try to detach the child’s limpet grip from the comfort breast. In this tug of war he is loosing. He bares his teeth, snarls and growls. Mother raises her arms, surrenders. He peels the child away. His voice machine gun fire, an axe, an ancient sword recites

The Manifesto.

No sooking.
It is not the way.
Son now clings to him.
It is a shock he didn’t see…
What did I tell you?
To the boy
the weeping boy,
Keep Your Eye On The Ball!
This is how you do it.
When hurt you cry for a bit.
Then say OK.
It hurts but it is over now.
You get on with it.
This is how you be a man.

Message to the Boys
Beat your wife.
Drown your kids.
Kill the cat.
Kick the dog in the soft warm guts.
But don’t cry.

Above us the sun
is veiled in cirrus
but not enough
to stop the sting.
It burns.
Sun burns.
Men don’t cry.
Silent trees crowd in.
A woman crochets in purple.
Complains to herself.
Boys’ voices are still.
Half time oranges.

bucks flat
crow continues the story
men make business with ellipsoids
trees strain forward

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