The clouds straddle the flats high up like china clay;
five o clock feels warm and light as August might,
and the flats reach up towards the beckoning light
away from Earth like giant spikes, to head away.
Challenging space as if it needed to be fought,
young riders ride into the sprawling bushy park
on bikes, some paid for, some taken for a lark,
skidding and crashing, from game to impact sport.
The white car with the door wide open draws a crowd,
becomes a learning hub: a local Doctor Seuss
raps tall from a tower where trouble brews.
The car has pedigree, a secret whispered loud,
a half-told story’s well-known sequel, how for hours
it was driven round, returning round a certain bend,
not for a bad reason – just to help a friend.
There’s talk of pacts and treaties, the sharing of powers:
“…if one side can respect, the other understands.”
Now even younger kids have blades; one little boy
a blade that coils and uncoils like a toy,
a game of stick and scatter, for brain and glands
that boil with thoughts. The nerves send their orders;
the bikes skid, slide round; one hits the deck;
the rider smirks, jeans ripped, t-shirt newly wrecked.
Up in the flats a breeze helps a mother get their suppers.
Her thoughts simmer; she won’t go to money-lenders –
even before the doorbell rang she’d know the score.
Now she calls, “Supper” from the window, shouts, shouts more,
and her message is relayed by willing messengers
Kenneth Hyam Dec 2012