stdClass Object
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    [ID] => 18964
    [post_author] => 23
    [post_date] => 2018-06-13 09:51:31
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-13 09:51:31
    [post_content] => In between the lilt of your name and your skin like onyx. 
In between the matt curl of an afro and your flaming mohawk,
between jollof rice and pani pizza.
Between the dam of your tears
and the wet chest of your shirt.

In between why always me and leave me alone
between the complicated and particular, 
speaking up and being spoken of;
in between talent and challenge
between cheering crowds and lonely clicks of flashing lights.

That liminal space, that difficult uncomfortable space
between the thud of your shot
and the frictive hiss of a spinning ball climbing the net;
and you running, shouting to your fans
I’ve slayed your demons, now what about mine.
    [post_title] => Balotelli
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => balotelli
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2018-06-13 10:05:51
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-13 10:05:51
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/?post_type=poems&p=18964
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => poems
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [meta_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [wpcf-published-in] => 
            [wpcf-date-published] => 2018
            [wpcf-summary-description] => This poem was commissioned as part of the Thinking Outside the Penalty Box project celebrating African lives in football. It was included in the Young Poets Network challenge of the same name and inspired young poets to write in response. This poem, alongside three other commissioned poems, the challenge winning poems, and poems created in a workshop with Kayo Chingonyi at The Poetry Society, appear in the free Thinking Outside the Penalty Box anthology which you can read here.

To find out more about this poem and the project, visit the Thinking Outside the Penalty Box page.
            [wpcf-rights-information] => 
            [wpcf-poem-award] => 
            [wpcf_pr_belongs] => 
        )

    [poet_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [ID] => 18967
            [forename] => 
            [surname] => 
            [title] => Roger Robinson
            [slug] => roger-robinson
            [content] => Roger Robinson’s poem ‘Balotelli’ was commissioned as part of the Thinking Outside the Penalty Box project, in a partnership with The Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network on a challenge celebrating extraordinary lives of African footballers in 2018. His commissioned poem, three other commissioned poems, the winners of the challenge and poems created in a workshop led by Kayo Chingonyi at The Poetry Society appear in an anthology available to read on The Poetry Society’s website.
        )

)
stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 18967
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Roger Robinson
    [slug] => roger-robinson
    [content] => Roger Robinson’s poem ‘Balotelli’ was commissioned as part of the Thinking Outside the Penalty Box project, in a partnership with The Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network on a challenge celebrating extraordinary lives of African footballers in 2018. His commissioned poem, three other commissioned poems, the winners of the challenge and poems created in a workshop led by Kayo Chingonyi at The Poetry Society appear in an anthology available to read on The Poetry Society’s website.
)

Balotelli

Roger Robinson

In between the lilt of your name and your skin like onyx. 
In between the matt curl of an afro and your flaming mohawk,
between jollof rice and pani pizza.
Between the dam of your tears
and the wet chest of your shirt.

In between why always me and leave me alone
between the complicated and particular, 
speaking up and being spoken of;
in between talent and challenge
between cheering crowds and lonely clicks of flashing lights.

That liminal space, that difficult uncomfortable space
between the thud of your shot
and the frictive hiss of a spinning ball climbing the net;
and you running, shouting to your fans
I’ve slayed your demons, now what about mine.