I miss writing without pretention;
summer holidays window-gazing from indoors,
my room yellow from radiation,
air a suit of sweat-stained gauze
from which I wrung my nubile poetry.
I miss cricket on the beach, all mobile
parents; Dad running, bowling, free
as the wind that whipped the balls for miles;
Mum free-walking, joining or laying a spread
for us five to eat; yesterday yet never,
yet today inside my heart and everyday
in memory, sand between toes forever.
I will miss that active, alive childhood
throughout the generations I survive through;
my own young or others; I have stood
in places and stand there still anew,
ghosts in my eyes of flicker-book things
all converging, building, stinging;
Dad's bare brown back in summer heat
or lawn green bowls rolling
from his bent-knee frame, then quick,
he's driving to work for Electrolux
towing a gleaming goliath trailer equipped
with cleaning machines; this as mum cooks
her speciality roast, or passes gifts
from the base of the christmas tree
in the early-hour thrill, kissed
thank-yous shy and tentative.
I miss standing in the old places,
filling my old spaces with my size;
will miss the passing faces
and wear each one at times.