when I was a little boy
I threw stones at the lamp-post
I won a red biro playing marbles

we sat on a wall sucking a Vimto lolly
I hid some ear-rings in the garden of the church
left her a love-letter under a brick
we were only seven
I should have been at Sunday school

when my mother asked me where I had been
I shook my head and went to my bedroom
to watch the trees tapping at the window

when she asked again I still shook my head
that was just a response to her eyes
waiting like dormant volcanos


London, 1970