Now Is School Summer

It’s the greens, the infinite shades  
dragging me to 1978 playing fields. 
The heat at midday seems tropical, 
the girls sway off to smoke under 
poplar trees, as ‘Miss You’ plays. 

Indoors, even more memories. 
The bottled light, devastating, 
the toilets for fighting.
Now joy from images,
torpor, the smell from

pavements, the risky cut-throughs
overgrown, with lurking ‘yobs’ still 
wearing flares – skateboarding as 
freedom risking a kerb. Who cares
but me. If that’s enough I don’t know.

It needs writing then tightening. 
Almost exhausted before the urge
slackens, my grip loosens. Words
are forced into place but won’t stick.
Something was there and isn’t now.  
A fifth verse for each of five lines.
Symmetry, but will anyone notice.
If I trudge uphill back to my old
school, I’ll arrive then have to leave. 
I could get in my car and go there now. 


Paul Sutton



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