Alan Shearer’s pen

During every recording
of Match of the Day Top 10,
Alan Shearer holds a pen.
He never chews it.
He doesn’t point it at anyone.
He doesn’t even fiddle with it nervously.
It’s just there, in the hand
he used to raise to the sky
when he scored a goal,
making his fingers feel useful.
It’s been four months since I’ve had a job.
I kicked a concrete step yesterday
with no shoes on. My little toe erupted
like St. James’ Park
after an unstoppable header.
I felt awake.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

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