On the night of England’s semi-finals, we’re delighted to join the football fever and share with you Emma Purshouse’s first poem from Tipton Tales, her new commission with Multistory.
“I’m delighted to be working for Multistory on this project. I’ve just written my first poem for ‘Tipton Tales’. It’s fairly topical. I wrote it based on notes I made whilst watching England v Belgium in The Fountain pub in Tipton. And yes, I did have a pint or two after! It would have been rude not to.”
Who says women don’t like football
(The Fountain, Tipton, Summer 2018)
Here’s a game wench sporting England boppers
on her head. Scouse brows, perfect lips,
fluorescent toenails, tattooed feet. And a top
off the shoulder – the exact red of ‘66.
They’re all out tonight…Thought he’d buried yow.
Not seen ya for a while…in the smokers yard
with the big screen. Smile! Someone photographs
the pre-match scene, Coz people doh do they?
And a middle-aged woman fans herself
like menopause is war. A beauty appears
tanned as a hide, white hair piled high in a bun
eye shadow arches like bridges on the cut,
smelling expensive. She fills the doorway
with her smile. Well, it’s no cooler out here
might as well goo back inside. Duke blinks,
as families play pass the Chihuahua. From lap
to lap. Settles with the gap-toothed child
whose dad tries hard to gee her up, egg her on
proud as punch he claims she knows the songs
Sing the chant goo on. From two tables away
a woman’s shout. Er ay gone shy? Her mate
texts, the glory of her full tatt sleeves revealed
in early evening sun. Where am ya, bab?
About to start. Sunglasses lifted, propped in hair.
England. England. Blind eyes turn, toddlers
take advantage. Watch he doh fall down them stairs.
It’s game on. Hair spray, perfume, Wednesday’s best.
The place is a match away from going up.
Come on. Come on. We’ve gorra win.
The anthems play. We settle in.
© Emma Purshouse / Tipton Tales 2018. Commissioned by Multistory