Snug and cushioned with an eye that trickles,
England sits in the corner and dribbles
about cricket scores, strokes, bed pans, bed sores
and on an autumn afternoon is known to snore.
Waiting for supper to be bought on a tray
outside edge and boundary, a six? I say.
Alaistair Cook caught for another duck
leg before thicket, sodding bad luck, but
time enough to stump out yet another letter
to enquire if our friends in America are better.
England reverse swings ideas this way then that,
mouth open, eyes silly mid-off, last in to bat
mumbling way down the order, dreaming of umpire,
this side of the crease and fudging friendly fire.
Dreams from within the pavilion to rule the waves,
to erect a bastillion for the soporific daze.
James Anderson tampers the ball on his watch.
He rubs red bloody streaks across his leg and his crotch,
bowling a swinger which flaccidly bounces
against the cardboard hoarding of shillings and ounces.
England is dozing as England is skittled
for nought, castled and crippled,
led by the biffers to the cart wheeling stump,
caught out in the slips, ancient and plump.
A chain of daisies ripped by a cutter.
The death rattle of the snake’s final splutter.
Ben Stokes raises his wrist and down England crashes
to lie amongst the soil, the dirt and the ashes.