Orpheus and the Umbroworld

Orpheus descends
into the umbroworld

of trackie bottoms
and replica tops,

ragged running shoes
and knee-length socks,

skeleton racks
of shell-suited overstocks,

and sidesteps
the slow shuffle of dead souls

with their tatty dreams
of sunday morning goals,

deadly crossfield passes
and hacky sack skills.

He slays three-headed
Cerberus behind the tills,

who blows bubble gum balloons
from three sullen mouths,

and finds sweet Eurydice
wrapped up in sports towels.

Unlooking, he unravels,
unfetters, unfurls,

ushers her back through
the aisles of Sportsworld,

past gumshields and goggles
and tennis ball canisters,

under the Gods’ watchful eye,
Nike and Adidas.

But, in the security screen
on the threshold,

the face of Eurydice,
he accidentally beholds

and she is suddenly gone
from him forever,

lost in the folds
of a thousand

golf umbrellas.


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