Riding the 19 back from Headingley,
After a day spent at the Test,
Seeing Stokes and Root and Bairstow
In the field against the Kiwi’s best.
England wearing bright white flannels,
Opponents sporting soft-creamed hues.
Hot sun beating relentless from a Yorkshire sky
Rich in shades of perfect blues.
It’s been a glorious day for cricket,
Hearing leather ball hit willow bat.
Watching Leach on his way to a ten-haul
And that incredible dismissal.
We’ve seen stumps cartwheeling freely,
Witnessed runs – fours and sixes – and one-handed diving takes.
There’s been trumpets sounding merry medleys
And dozens of slithering beer snakes.
We’ve shared headphones, one ear apiece,
Listening to Aggers, Tuffnell, the whole TMS crew,
As their expert analysis and stats and daftness
Helped round out our Test Match view.
Now we’re homeward bound but happy.
The bus is packed, we’re squashed in tight,
It winds slow over the tea-time blacktop
As Cardigan Road comes alive for the night.
In a window above Jerk Express,
I’m surprised at who I’ve viewed.
You don’t expect Mona Lisa to peer out
From a place selling Caribbean Street Food.
I hope her day has been like ours has,
Our day out has been jam-packed full
Of warmth, good food and fun. But it’s hard to tell
Because da Vinci’s enigmatic lady is so darn inscrutable.
(Cardigan Road, Headingley, Leeds. 23rd June 2022)