There is a white wind and a clanging bell
across the marsh, a frisson in the wires
that slice the pitches, where ping on leather
meets the thump of white-paint post, branches
clacking in the trees, tarpaulin unravelling
on the building sites: grit, sand and aggregate.
Think of the causeway that the Romans built
to keep their road going straight to Colchester,
a heap of shale and shattered boulders paved
with smoother slabs set into concrete, the coarse
rudus, the soft nucleus, then curved to let
rainwater slip into the fields. Suddenly
there is an army cutting a line through
the Sunday fixtures, a legion of pallbearers.