Broken Hero

That firefly summer,
his skill entranced a nation:
a smiling urchin maestro
from the lovely brutal isle
set the capital's coliseum aflame.
The centre of the world
lay at his booted feet.

This mothy evening, his careworn face
contorts in concentration
as he swings on a synthetic
jungle creeper, every fibre focused
on popping a paper ball in a pot
before a bourgeois lady rival does.

Then the post-match interviews,
wrung for tears. Voice cracks
as he rasps his love to the remote kids
he could not live without
till TV took him back, on centre stage,
for humiliation beyond his powers of vision.

They are the masters now,
who package us cold comfort,
feet of clay, sick heroes
for a brave new globe.
And yet, it turns.

Bryan Murphy


If you've any comments about this poem, Bryan Murphy would be pleased to hear from you.