UniteLive's stories of the year - From a Mural a Monument

On the seventh day of Christmas – Unite’s Joy Johnson takes inspiration from Marcus Rashford’s post-Euro final statement in her latest poem

Reading time: 3 min

Every day for the ‘twelve days of Christmas’ this year, UniteLive is running a different story from our top stories of 2021. Today we look back at a poignant poem from Unite’s Joy Johnson, who takes inspiration from Marcus Rashford’s post-Euro final statement.

From a Mural a Monument

Did you watch it?
Did you spray beer
all over your mates?
Shout at the telly.
Leap out of your seat.
Throw open your arms
in the champion position?

Did you feel the ecstasy
of freedom
the excitement
of heightened competition?
Did you throw
off restrictions with
reckless abandon?

Ahead after only minutes.
Did you worry
the goal came too early?
Defending it too long.
Full time turned into extra time.
Finally without a winner
the long walk for penalties.
Expectation. Apprehension.

Thirty million watched.
Hesitating. Burdened by history.
*I wish it had gone differently.
Over and over in my head
it’s playing.
All I can say is sorry.
I felt I let the people down.

In the darkness
the bay of the bloodhounds.
Their howls silenced by a
single post-it expressing solidarity.
At the wall more came.
Reggie, six.
Thank you for our dinners.

Messages of pride and of inspiration.

*A 23-year-old black man
from Withington and Wythenshawe,
South Manchester.
If I have nothing else I have that.
I will never apologise for who I am.

By Joy Johnson, Unite political department

*Inspired by Marcus Rashford’s statement after the Euro Cup and the crowds that gathered at the mural posting hand written messages expressing pride and thanks.

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