He cradles it, tender as any Mary
ever caught in stained-glass web.
Injury does not scream, but purrs,
a kitten formed from bandages,
rocked in the player’s embrace.
Tender as ligaments,
the royal, swaddled bruise
sucks in attention like a tick.
It is familiar with media scrums
crooning their avid concern,
and its lullaby is a million tweets.
Injury never dies, and never grows.
In a week or a month or a year,
it may begin to fade, to dissolve.
Anxious, the player passes it on,
even from one code to another —
summer whites to winter motley.
Injury finds a new nest of arms.
The sweet little oval, clutched
light as promise and firm as hope.
P.S. Cottier is a poet who lives in Canberra, with a particular attraction to speculative poetry and sport. She was recently appointed President of the Intergalactic Cricket Council, and Secretary of the Vogon Poetry Union, in recognition of these interests. She is currently developing a lunar sport and verse festival, to be known as Park Side of the Moon. P.S. Cottier blogs incessantly and publishes cessantly. Confirm the former by visiting pscottier.com, or the latter by buying Paths Into Inner Canberra from Ginninderra Press. It’s an essay with poems, flashes of Lycra (shiver), and cockatoos. Also bikes.