We ride trains, but not like they do in old movies.
The world is full of advertisements,
Perfumes only boys can smile about.
When I was six, my mother told me to write a postcard.
My fingers were so small,
My handwriting, neat and eager as a rainbow.
Money meant football stickers
And vending machine treats.
Colonies of toys comprised an empire,
And I sat enthroned on carpet or in a sand pit,
Ritualising a world of plastic,
Executing fate and desperate for allies.
I cried on my first day at school.
I knew that from now on,
Everything would be outdoors or indoors:
Working, running, falling over and concentrating.
There are people who die young,
Are we obliged to feel old age coming?
Without a door to walk home through,
Removing brown shoes too small,
Unpacking a rucksack of invaluable journals,
And lifting off -
The human ear pops into prayer,
Hoping, buying, bracing -
An exhausted hand holds an exhausted hand.