Second Childhood

Some day I’ll be a boy again
And scamper through the springtime field
To sow the seeds before the rain
When all my wounds of age have healed.

I’ll reacquaint myself with mud
And trap the three-spined stickleback
In Redbrick Woods beside the Tud,
My once again familiar track.

Across the years, I’ll hear the boom
Beyond the Broad where bitterns live;
Just as those herons journeyed home,
So may this infant fugitive.

This time I’ll see that sunlight fades
And comprehend the point of fear;
I’ll wrap up warm as evening’s shades
Seek to conceal each trick and snare.

By then I’ll know the story’s end
And how to win each morning’s game –
Yet joys on ignorance depend
And too much glory leads to blame.

For boys are mean and merciless
And congregate in packs to face
The grown-up world with taunts – ah yes,
Such acts prepare them for the chase.
It’s in our minds we merchandise
These futures that have flown before,
Those visions viewed through ancient eyes
Immersed in innocence once more.

© Mike Douse 2013.

Second Childhood” appeared in the 7 June 2013 edition of the Clare Champion.

Photograph of Mike Douse