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Dropping the Ball

I went to kick the footy the other night with my daughter. She really wanted to do kick-to-kick with her brother, but he’s injured, and has been now for five years.

He’s never looked at the photo of the moment his shoulder popped from its joint, the picture snapped by the team photographer just before the siren sounded. An opposition player had slammed into him, running in the opposite direction. My kid swore–’fuck’–and went white. Time stopped as I ran towards him. In shock we walked from the field, his shoulder dislocated, and made our way to the club rooms.

In the cramped toilet block he said he thought he might vomit. He was so very, very white.

He has never played club football again. 

So as we walk to the school oval, my girl says ‘I wish my brother could kick the footy with me. When he’s going to be able to kick the footy? By summer?’ Yes, maybe by summer we say.

We avoid the crowd at the school park and find some empty asphalt. I line up, drop the ball to my foot, and kick. Cue, fr…

Running with the Magpies

I’m not much of a runner. I’m heavier these days. I start with 200 steps, counting as I run. Breathing in and out with the numbers, taking it slowly over the rocky, wet path. Stones, tree roots, furrows and puddles, 77-78-79-80. Keep going.

I pass 200, and feel lighter. I’m thinking of magpies and lifting my feet to float and I keep going and it’s 500, then 800 and I’ve made 1000 and I’m still going and I feel like I’m flying. I’m doing it for the Magpies I tell myself. At 1500 I stop for breath and to take in the view as the rain keeps falling.

Stay on the Path the sign says and it seems like it’s telling those Pies 'Stay true. Keep going boys'. I take off again around the cliff path and I reckon I can make it to 2000. I count myself onto the headland, and look across–there are the magpies! And adult and a youngster, just picking at the grass. Hopping. Poking their beaks into the soft soil. Burdle-durdle-dup I say.

Hip hop onto the path at Hell’s Gates and off the adult flies. I…