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Wrestling the Public

don’t listen to the bookies
they have stopped taking bets against you
even up in the crow’s nest
and as the whistle blows with you
dressed in a robe
ensnared by their advocates
someone will call from amongst them:
‘this is what we have agreed upon’
and just now he’s taking hold 
of your robe
running his fingers through your hair---
prolonging tonight’s battle
they’ll join in if they have to
they’ll stumble onto the canvas
and pull down your stripped pants
and the klaxon sounds
you are still standing but the fix is in
these are the good, sweet children 
of  Great Britain
and with your pride bleeding in drips
and picturesque rivers
with both hope and faith tied in bandages
with your arms bound hangman style
defeat is yours to take 
or nothing at all.

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