Take this cup…

(recalling an ancient cup final)

What do we remember?
why do we rejoice,
spend sweat, even blood,
with screams in one voice?
Is it a meal,
just dining eleven
with gold on earth
for a goal in heaven?
Thousands or millions
making their way
to football’s high altar
to pay or to play.
Palaces erected
for just a few days
Much else neglected
since the poor with us stay.
What do we remember,
athletic fashion
since we’ve forgotten,
for justice,
truth and passion
to pray.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..