The Children of the First XV

A teenage state school rugby player
Could marvel at the examples
Among the fee-paying opposition
Bigger and better in every position
And every respect
From wrist to thigh and arm to head
Glossier, brighter, whiter
Quite obviously better bred
Better fed, on better bread

These giants who roamed the land
From families who owned the land
(And freely used the word ‘alas’
When deigning to see their lads
At half term)
Were clearly of a better stock
From full back to loosehead prop and back
Chock full of born-to-lead-ness
That our team somehow lacked

As we left the playing fields of England behind
To turn our noses to the daily grind
They rose to take their rightful place
In the grand offices of state
To bray, debate, deliberate
And make the regulations and the laws
That daily will affect us all

Marcus plays a very different game
Co-opted early to the Order of the British Empire
An uncomfortable title
But recognition all the same
He seeks to shame
Those with the power to make a change
In this time of national crisis
To extend a free school meal a day
Into the Christmas holiday
Though tempered is the hope that he’ll succeed
For the children of the first fifteen
It’s a meal they’ll never need

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