They are taking down the goal posts at my local football ground. The sky the posts once occupied is strangely bare – bereft – as though the air has been divested of some vital symmetry. Open wounds, ringed with dirt, denote the spot where each post stood.
I was here the day the posts went up – the evenings getting shorter, winter coming on. I took a seat by the clubhouse steps as the posts were raised and fixed apart: two big posts, front and centre; two smaller posts, aside.
Australian architecture. A four-post poem.
Now I’m on the boundary line, accompanied by the sun, as two men on the oval lay the posts to rest. Pallbearers at a funeral, solemn and attentive, they go about their business with a calm efficiency.
The wounds are packed with sand and dirt. The goal square is erased. When the final post is hauled offsite, the season slips away.
This article first appeared in The Footy Almanac, 4 October 2019
Image: The last post; Paul Bateman, 2019