Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Denning Dells

Childhood goes like lost children do;

in a flash,

or a whipcrack like if you pull

back a sapling of ash

to test its supple bones with a finger.

Echoes of ancient bowmen there

and the yelping of kids denning in dells, 

standing sentinels to adulthood, welcoming that

exotic stranger in, not knowing he’ll burn hands, 

and take the gold of innocence.

Childhood goes over the brow of a twilight hill

lungs full of dampening air, the summer of cut grass

and teas and grazed knees gives way to worry and weight.

Even as we hear the gladdening laugh of friends

intent on finding us in the bracken

the thump of heavy boots intrudes

and with hands to creaking backs and eyes low

we take our reluctant route home

to the place we came from, crouched, 

small and though newly born,

already taking on the patina of the worn.