Clutching the ball deep within his maw
His frame hanging from angled shoulders
He stepped up to his destiny
With all the careless confidence
That comes to those with nature’s gifts.
He plunged his heel deep within the English earth
And set his ball upon a crown of turf,
Then drew his arm across his face
And turned his back upon his foe
Like some matador before a dying bull.
No fear, no doubt, no chance of failure
No stutters, stares or signs of manic ritual
His eccentric gait,
A style without peer
Took him towards the ball.
Head down, he hits it, lifts it, shifts it
Wobbles it between the posts
Between the English hearts
And with a single moment
Seals his place in history.
Dedicated to PC Brown, Rugby Captain of Scotland whose kicking helped Scotland to win the Calcutta Cup match against England in 1973.