‘Whispers……’ by Simone Kerwin

Wangaratta were scheduled to meet Wang. Rovers in what would have been a much-hyped O & M Round 15 at the W. J. Findlay Oval earlier this month. KB Hill’s guest blogger Simone Kerwin laments the absence of ‘The Local Derby’.




I thought I heard a whisper carried on the breeze
As I wandered past those dual fields of play.
I’m sure it was a whisper…it can’t have been the trees,
As it echoed my thoughts on a winter Saturday.





It spoke of generations past, and all that they had meant,
Of mateship, rivals, battles, triumph, losses they had dealt;
Of pies, thermos, convivial beers, and crowds that came and went;
And those who tended needs to honour passion deeply felt.





For while this flurry of action should now be at full tilt,
A global shift had brought a halt to the usual reverie.
So it came as no surprise, expressed in that breeze-carried lilt,
That the quiet now descended sparked melancholy.


Of communities now separated by length of arm
And masked to stem an evil, rampant disease,
To keep the vulnerable – and all – safe from harm
While they did their best to heed their leaders’ pleas.





I walked a lap of both ovals and offered a listening ear
To the second homes adored by the sporting swell.
Then I whispered back, by way of assuaging any fear,
Assuring the surrounds all one day soon would be well.





They will come, as a wise scribe once famously said,
As they have in this sporting city’s decades past,
To worship ’round the turf their heroes will again tread.
And toil to hoist that flag atop the mast.


Then a ray of sun splashed across my walking path,
A light that could indeed have been the land’s reply,
With gratitude for wishes and prayers I’d heard and held.
Until we meet again, it said, and settled down to lie





As leaves tumbled across the grass in place of the ball,
The winter breeze lamented the absence of the game,
And pondered when it might return with all connected thrall
To bring some smiles and somehow ease the pain





In a strange kind of hibernation, heartened by the hope
Instilled by someone harbouring a dream
That ‘one day soon’ is not far along the slippery slope
On these days of uncertainty it can sometimes seem.





This story first appeared on KB Hill’s website On Reflection and appears here with permission.
Simone Kerwin is a journalist based in north-east Victoria.  All photos sourced from KB Hill’s resources unless otherwise acknowledged.


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  1. There’s nothing like a local derby, Simone, and you capture the allure beautifully. Just imagine the crowd the next time it gets played – standing room only, I’d say. And the Oval – what tales it could tell.

  2. This is excellent, Simone.

    On the list of things that I miss, local footy is right up near the top.

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