The conclusion

At the end,
Seven weeks of battle,
With all its twists and turns of roller coaster of emotions,
It comes down to one last push,
Two old adversaries both battling hard,
No quarter given or inch taken, or asked for,
No chances offered or missed,
Twenty two men of England and Australia,
Filled with pride and purpose,
An iron filled resolve never diminished,
But now here on the twenty fifth day of skirmish,
The ashes in our grasp so close the smooth china can be felt,
With a touch of luxuriant silk for the triumphant,
As a nation we watch intently,
Every ball bowled and catch dropped,
The click of an outside edge and clatter of stump.
We hit every ball and count every run,
With mathematical mind recalculating the odds each time,
Hearts lurch at every shout of catch it,
Nice one Shane and umpires twitch. The echoes ring around this green and pleasant oval,
Our nations hope resting on shoulders of these men of English granite, The overcast September day no justice for such a spectacle of perfection, We smoke, chew nails our own and others,
We pace and shield innocent eyes from this unmissable torture, Every error stops hearts,
Pressure tells on player and observers alike,
Dignitaries, celebrities and former heroes watch on as helpless as us, Then our world crashes with deafening thud,
Two wickets in two balls we sink, blending in to our seats,
Are we to stutter to our usual end of nearly men,
Will we survive this belch in the face of our lives,
In strides the man of the hour and south African decent,
Can he switch the swing of Damocles sword back to our favour,
Or will this prize slip away before our eyes,
To return with the antipodeans flight,
The day swings and ebbs as those before,
But British spirit shines through as the sun arks across the sky,
My life losing years as tea approaches, Willing it on and to safety,
And then it happens,
The point is reached and surpassed,
We are safe, heart slows to normal pace,
You can read it on the faces of the champions as a new king is crowned, The long journey home empty handed awaits them,
The ashes return to their home,
Cricket is reborn to light the way to our bright new future,
Tear well up and roll down faces,
Mine too sting and fall,
Pride fills our hearts and joy lifts our hopes for days to come, When we will be in our rightful place, again at number one.

Padauk ballpoint pen. More at Bespoke Woods Facebook page

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