A Day at Grandma’s

We played hide and seek. The old house
swallowed us like it was hungry;
Grandma worried we’d get lost.

Only seekers can roam, larder to orchard, free,
taking breadcrumbs and windfalls with leery
nibbles. Grandma always forgot tea.

Hiders must stay confined ‘til found –
Game Rule, carved by kids for generations
into tradition hard as stone.

It’s cheating to fall asleep and snore;
it’s cheating to wriggle or whine.
We found corners, cupboards and doors

off Grandma’s map, and attics emptier
than the larder. Under stairs, behind curtains
we shuddered in with dust and spiders.

It’s cheating to switch hides after ‘Ready!’;
it’s cheating to lock yourself in.
Bear the cramps and scratches – try not to bleed.

We wrestled, in the mad light of setting sun,
broken umbrellas and bony goblins
awaiting the yell, ‘You’re found!’

Now, with Grandma’s dust twenty years gone,
we still debate who cheated and who won.

E.A.M. Harris

If you have any thoughts on this poem, E.A.M Harris  would be pleased to hear them.