In the mist that blows over the field
at Lima Cricket near the Pacific,
moist, cool air lets the wicket

breathe and the crack of bat
on ball sing like a memory
of toffee I recall, outside

the tuck shop, the day
Josephians played St. Peter’s
in the wet air off Beira Lake

and all the boys, let off early
from class, rang the ropes
with cheers: St Joseph’s

victory, St. Peter’s parippu;
now forty years later,
accused still of immaturity,

I have dressed in whites,
a sun hat, am padded
up and ready to go out

again into the middle
to knock four fours
and a couple of sixers

in half a dozen balls,
to save the side
from infamy.