The tarmac under the swings and
Eight-seater iron rocking-horse,
Dragged up by the heels of school shoes;
Soft, molten, was the first to be reclaimed.
Gerry Porterhouse hammers home off-cuts of
Four-by-twos into the wet ground.
For Sale Commercial Land. Roundabouts,
Climbing frames, graffiti and rust.
A furlong of weeds and cow parsley
Mown down by the corporation sit-upon
Midsummer's day 1973. And I pulled you
Through the mesh fence into a purple glade
Of misty bottles, spilled beer and tobacco.
You grazed your knee on broken glass as a
Spasm caught you under the ribs and
You passed a bloodied hand across your temples.
Your cry mixed with the throaty cheers of
Footballers on the recreation ground.
A shiver. White pulp and dirt blood.
Placenta and membrane stick and flow.
Freckled hands grab at soil and
Stubby roots. Silence covers premature limbs
As glittering rainfall washes all thought from the
Dismal sunlight and drowns out panicked prayer.
If you have any comments on this poem, Jo Smythe would be pleased to hear from you.