Friday, 11 July 2014


The estate was full of boys spinning
Around in cars and the girls chalking 
Hopscotch on the pavements. We hung 
Our legs off the bridgebarely able to reach a barstool. 

I got kissed in the alleyway and then went home,
Next day I walked across the field after breakfast
Listening to the school bell. Soon the bell would 
Ring again and the sums jotted into the journal

And to the hill-walker with a watchful eye,
Can be seen the better arranged fields
Of the north. Up there it is black and white, 
The dirty linens are not left on the floor.

In school they strangle you with
Mathematics, constrain you in a desk
With schoolbags and tight collared
Sweat. Many numbers that run fast ahead. 

Nine years old, visiting the sea for the first time, I
Was as a light as a hula hoop jumping through dunes 
And waves. Later in the evening I got a clip about
The ear, my Mother's hand warning me to behave.

'Dirty boots must be left at the door'. I didn't 
Know it then, but memory is the hardest thing,
Good that I have remembered well. The street 
Lined with bins on a monday evening, 

The dogs barking and moonlight gleaming
On the slated rooftops, drops of rain 
Clouding the puddles with run off, mince and 
Spuds on a dinner plate. In the streets

that turn away like a bird flown, 
Shaping the leather-hard soles of people's 
Feet, un-offended by the shameless 
Vulgarity of making their ends meet.

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