Paul Scholes says he actually liked playing on the left for England

but we gather in the Rat Trap pub 19 years ago
to make a fuss. We put words together
that fit easily, have an allergic reaction
to ideas formed from unfamiliar flavours.
Our Sunday league knees know
what it’s like to play in a position in which
we do not flourish, like a tap dancer
in charge of laying the wooden floorboards,
and we refuse to trust the heads of people
who have dedicated their lives to something.
I am celebrating my 21st birthday but I’m 18,
pretending my minimum wage has not spent
the last three years falling illegally
into the till of a kind man
fooled by my top button, polished shoes
and wet look gel painted on the hair of an ego.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

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