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The Medical Center

On my journey into the land of pain, we arrive at the entry of the Arsenal rehabilitation center

Thorsten Wagner

A howling chorus, as if sang by furies, interrupted my sleep.
Like one gasping for air after an eternity underwater
I leaped up grasping at nothing. The words
"You don't know what you're doing" still resonating in my heart.

When I was fully awake, and having eventually relaxed
I surveyed the treacherous land of misery,
Finding my feet as best as I could

And I found that I stood on the very edge of Arsenal's training grounds,
Called the Rehabilitation Centre, the dismal abyss
That spiraled on endlessly and bleakly, so depthless-deep
And ill-defined and blurred that squinting into the terrifying dreadful cavern
I could see neither elements nor an end to it

Inspid, Pat Rice spoke: "Now, let us travel
Into the faithless medical center below us.
I will go first and you shall follow behind me."

And I, troubled and unnerved by his new wanness,
Lambasted him, "How can I be mindfully descend here,
When you, who are my strength has turned pale with terror?"

He replied: "The pain of those who suffer here,
Fills me with sadness and leaves my face colorless,
It is pity, not fear that inhabits my soul.

Now let's continue, a long journey awaits us."
So he went down and led me with him
To the misty and profound crevasse.

No wailing of pain, as I had imagined, were to be heard here
But sounds of sighing rose from every side
Quivering the walls and my own heart as well,

A sorrow born of painless anguish,
The souls that dwelled here infected with an eternal docile nature,
Midfielders, strikers, defenders -an endless Parliament.

Pat Rice turned to me: "You do not ask
Who these souls are and what they have done?
It is best that you know before we move on

That these souls committed no grave error. But still they suffer
For they lacked the fitness of the body, which would allow
Them extended playing time. Their fortitude fell

At the first hurdles of training
And so they could never fulfill their own innate potential
To its fullest. Abou Diaby is one of these.

For such failures, they are lost, though spared from the ire
Of the fans, they live on with a gnawing affliction:
To live on without hope, forever on the verge of a return."

I thought how many souls there were
Trapped in that limbo, of the body of Abou Diaby, and a weight of tears and grief
Closed on my heart for what these noble men suffer.