In Mourning

The stadium that teams with life on another
has clouded duly over; the willow blades placed
like crosses at the boundary rope, a temporary
fixture, acknowledged passingly by those honoured

at the end of play, who get to step-over first
from the click-focused world―paid for and paid in―
to the shaded area of spectators only. We invest
in the meaningful drama, despite our distant part.

Looking one way, we’re saved the impossible choices
of full sympathy; and in the parade of mourning,
natural and mannered glances, tears and condolences
viral in the public domain, we sense something real

and are reasoned to watch, knowing our records too
will tumble, and that diving catch will be forgotten.
Mark the score if you like, but everything’s done
so soon; sparrows fall silent under the hedge. Listen.

(Phil Hughes, Australian cricketer, 1988-2014.)