They shared debate around the flames,
a glowing fire, domestic shrine,
thus sacred turf the site for pitch,
that like the peat, the team was sweet,
whatever referee had said.
These Antrim sods of Ireland, North,
that stood, still, watching Bushmills turn,
Scotch planted, like the Black and Tans,
as coppers in a sentry stance,
stir dancing gold of liquor burn.
As shots were fired and bellies gripped,
bloodred vein creep of colour, cheeks,
they laid down arms, await refill,
the cause to weigh, old arguments,
that giant step that staked the land.
They look out, castle in the air -
where all washed up, across the bar,
in place of wake they celebrate,
for who knows where the future lines,
save all agreed that Bush retained.
Published in The Whisky Blot https://www.whiskyblot.com/journal/proof-by-stephen-kingsnorth