Taking the knee

These youngmen so heavy with a country’s hope,
legs shredded by the studs of high-footed politicians,
these torchbearers of the truth, their light 
shaming the shade of cynics in corners.

These lads bearing the weight of an old, failed nation,
chests heaving amid the heat of battle,
their ballooning lungs drowned out by the death rattle 
of those still playing a loser’s game.

These white shirted cadets, feet grown
from seeds blown in from the seven seas,
boots full of goals bigger than any football net,
whose pureness of purpose I don’t want to forget.

These defenders of the faith, so full of grace and poise
won the only game in town like men against boys.
With every blade of grass covered in decency,
beside every one of you, I take the knee.

Harry Gallagher

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