Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mark Pirie's new poem The Umpire

The following cricket poem I wrote remembering a former teacher of mine at Wellington College was published in the latest edition of The Lampstand, September 2010 (the Wellington College Old Boys Magazine):


The Umpire

Cricket often has its eccentrics.
In Form 7 at Wellington College

our form master Colin Froude was
taken as such. For one thing, he had

been in a motorcycle accident that
had left him with an ungainly limp.

As boys, we gave him hell for it.
But his redeeming quality was cricket.

We soon learned he was an umpire
in the local men’s grade. At the time

I had visions of him struggling to
raise his leg whenever a leg-bye

was scored. Luckily, the other
signals involved arms. Perhaps though

there was nothing that eccentric
about him. Anyone who’s a bit different

to the ‘norm’ can be taken this way.
Mr Froude (and his limp) will always be

part of my memories of the game.
Maybe he’s still out there on

a summer field signalling till the final run’s
scored, then handing back the bowler’s jersey,

he pockets the bails, pulls the stumps,
and starts his long limp back in to the pavilion,

a pat on the back, cheers from the players.
Nodding contented, a good day’s cricket.

© Mark Pirie, 2010

Thanks to Stephanie Kane, the editor, who does a great job collecting and printing stories and news from old boys of the college.

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