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Liberia Plays Soccer - Poem by Charlina Daitouah Smith

When Beckham kicks the ball on a
soccer pitch in England, it
breaks through the opponent’s

defense and slams into the goal post.
It then continues over the heads of the
cheering spectators, over miles of oceans

and seas, and countries, and lands at the
feet of soccer-crazed Liberian men, who
immediately kick that same ball, again and

again, into that very goal post, in their living
rooms, in posh sport lounges, in hot, smelly
video clubs, around the ataye* tables, on the

buses, on the sidewalks. They keep kicking
that ball until somewhere in Europe, Drogba
kicks a different ball, into another goal post.

Then, Drogba’s ball comes to Liberia and the kicking begins anew.


*ataye – a hot drink, popular with Liberian males. The ataye tables have grown into informal political and social forums.


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