The Playing Fields by Glen Wilson

I noticed him first at the cinema, working
behind a group of teenage girls.
It was him now I was sure of it, the one
the stories had circled the village about.

We spent hours playing football on those pitches,
starting off a mass hoof of fifteen a side.
As time went on we switched to Headers and Volleys
as the numbers dwindled and the grass started to divot.

Unaware of the night closing in, the games
diminished and we aped the language
of our older peers, became fluent in the crude.
But many more things would still have to be explained.

Down the steps of the changing rooms,
hidden by the hedgerows,  we heard
how he ‘recaptured his youth’
as my friend’s father had put it.

The victim she faded into the background,
Not aware that her name was linked so cruelly
And finally to this wound.
That’s all I can remember-

– her name equalling victim, a one act life.
I trembled at the prospect of being known
for a happening,  an unavoidable flaw
a scuffed shot.

As he emptied the bin, excess popcorn,
sweet wrappers mixed with dust and ashes,
I felt like I could sense a dark fire
sparking off again inside him.

Glen Photo

Glen Wilson lives in Portadown, Co Armagh with his wife Rhonda and children Sian and Cain. He works as a Civil Servant in Belfast in Statistics and Research.

Glen was part of the Millennium Court Arts Centre Writing group in Portadown for 5 years. His work has been published in Black Mountain Review, Iota, A New Ulster and The Interpreters House.In 2014 he won the Poetry Space competition and was shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. In 2007 He was short listed for the Strokestown Poetry Festival’s Satire Prize. His influences include Leonard Cohen, Seamus Heaney, George Szirtes, Pablo Neruda, and his Christian faith.

He is currently working on his first collection of poetry.

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