Lone Star

by Nick Makoha

 for George Weah

Lone Star, you were a man on the run
when you picked the ball up on the edge
of your penalty box. A planet at your feet,
San Siro stadium sealed tight so nothing
escapes. The crowd a pair of eyes as you
moved toward the light. One man in costume
dancing across the pitch as if he were liquid
weight, a flicker, black Orpheus with five minutes
to go. The opposition’s error believing that you
were on your own. Past the halfway line
was the future, wide open like the shores of Liberia.
You ran like a man with a ship to catch. Like smoke
you had a story to tell. The boy from a village
without a well, who never spoke of money or the war.
At their forty yard line you struck the ball like a match.
Released from your spell it curled into their goal.