A Retired Player
By: MrSir Mpho
I trust that you are well,
And that this poem does not
Apply to you – but hear me out.
I know they said that when,
Someone from your past contacts you,
You should not entertain them,
For they have nothing new to say.
Well – maybe they are right,
But you have the emancipation to affirm…
I’d like to apologise
To you I’ve hurt
When I was too young
To be man enough
To show loyalty, empathy and gentleness.
I’d like to tell all of you whom
I made feel small and insecure
To rise above my actions and words,
And be aware that:
“What I did and said to you –
Should not be a reflection of who you are,
But what I was at the time.”
I was reckless, unwise and lost,
Which I know very well that it is not
Supposed to be an excuse
For treating you like a simple course –
As in pass you, and not study you and stay instead.
It was wrong of me to
“Secretly admire your confidence,”
And “crush” it with my ill-treatment.
I can’t claim that being young,
Was behind my stupidity –
Neither can I refer to the lack
Of Mentorship and Guidance
With regards to my Social Skills Department,
For I acted the way I did out of Freewill.
This poem is not justification –
But a sincere apology to whoever
Feels like the old me is the reason
The current them has mental health
Be it insecurities, low self-esteem,
Trust issues, heightened sensitivity, and the sundry,
I really am sorry.
The interjections thrown at the opponent,
Drove my rude remarks into depth,
And each “You got game” from my peers,
Inspired having multiple girlfriends –
And now my maturity does not
Allow me to commend and let alone
Condone infidelity, to both boys and girls.
Praise should be deserved by those who can
Maintain and keep one partner at a time –
’cause it really takes a certain level of
Emotional Intelligence to be monogamous.
Loyalty is not for the weak –
So, it is the strong that should make an ovation stand!
I was not careful with my words back then,
Hence I really believe that
There’s probably someone out there
Who puts on make-up to hide their
Pimples or skin tone,
Simply because I called them a gravel,
A midnight snack,
Or something along those lines.
I take all those words back –
For you are beautiful just the way you are!
I didn’t know better,
So, don’t take the old me’s word for it.
You know what they say,
“Hurt people hurt people.”
It is really not my place,
In fact not anyone else’s,
To quantify or categorise
People’s appearances based
On unrealistic sample spaces
Found on screens and in magazines.
Beauty cannot be compared,
It is like Art – it is perceived
Differently by different audiences.
So, no one’s word should be final
About how you look.
Not even mine!
Just because I did not value you
Enough to be with only you,
Does not mean you are not made
For love, affection and reciprocity.
I am not the measuring stick,
Of what you deserve, and no one really is.
You deserve the best,
And me not being the best for you
Was a me-problem.
We were simply just not for each other,
And don’t give up.
Just as I found one whom I am meant for,
So will you find one for yourself.
I’m sorry if I made you feel and think otherwise…
For real – I am sorry.
I’m really really really sorry.
A Retired Player.
Rationale: When you are in your youth, especially as a young boy, you are mostly prone to conformity. You are highly likely to become what the youth call “a player,” playing around with the opposite gender’s feelings and the sundry. Eventually, however, you grow out of that phase and re-evaluate your decisions. There’s one problem. We barely ever go back to those we have hurt and make them understand why we were like that. I used my passion and talent to give those I’ve tormented emotionally some sort of poetic therapy, as a retired “player.” The title of the poem is: “A Retired Player.”
About the author:
Mpho (MrSir) Matlhabegoane is one of the A! Writers Hub writers. He uses writing as a tool for Mental Health Advocacy. He became an Activator in 2019. He was trained and mentored by SWITCH and NMM.
He is a Founder and Management Director of MSPT (Pty) Ltd – which focuses on simplifying mathematics for FET Learners and on book distribution in South Africa. He worked as an All Rounder at Brain Waves Development Org. – which focuses on STEMI Projects and competition. He has been a Marketing Manager at Uhunu Career G&L Org., which focuses on simplifying career paths for FET Learners, and used to work at Mpumalanga Technical College as a Mathematics facilitator.
He worked with several schools around South Africa on SGB Posts and Education Assistant Posts as a Mathematics facilitator as well as Extra Class Teacher through his Programme (MSPT) – such as Langlaagte Tegniese Hoerskool (Gauteng), Michael Modisakeng Secondary School (North West) and Seruane High School (Mpumalanga). He used to work as one of the Mathematics Tutors for SSIP Programme in Gauteng. He is a published author of four books, namely: The Story Of MrSir, Views and Emotions, Expanding The World Of Nerds, and featured in Poetry Lockdown, as of 2023.