a boy learns to keep cricket scores.
He pencils dots like Braille, watches
the umpire signal from the square
where lanky batsmen lurch, hesitate
before risking the twenty-two yards.
After the game they all want stats,
who made what, bowling averages,
partnerships, analysis of every kind.
And the boy learns, oh how he learns.
They think he doesn't see pockets
lined with sand, can't interpret nods
but he is like Hawk Eye in that hut,
can get under their skin, find lies.
Don't tell him you are sorry now
that your foul game is caught out.
Please don't expect his pity, respect
for owning up. He could smell you
like the paint they use for lines,
the linseed on your fancy-pants bat.
In a dusty, musty falling down hut,
a boy weeps like willow, grabs his
mobile phone to check the odds,
places bets on crooked lost heroes.
© Pat Edwards
Pat Edwards is a writer, teacher and performer living in Mid Wales. Her work has appeared in various publications including Prole, Picaroon, The Curlew, Ink Sweat and Tears and the soon to be published #MeToo Anthology. Pat runs Verbatim poetry open mic nights and curates Welshpool Poetry Festival.