Saturday, 7 June 2014

Summer in Sparkhill

The girls wore dresses, or skirts, that
stopped above the knee, and knee high socks
with diamond patterns, or white ankle socks.
We spent all summer out in the streets, and
we were the kids people from posh areas warned their kids about.
Stolen cars were abandoned in the
ill-named Belle Walk,
each car offering weeks of play before,
finally,
someone took them away.
The windscreen became a slide;
there'd be four, six kids
sitting on the roof,
someone in the driver's seat, someone in the back,
then we'd climb on the roof of the garages,
and throw small stones at passers-by.
The really brave shinned up the
flat splinterry planks of the fence around the generator.
We balanced when we reached the top of the fence and JUMPED
across the six foot gap
to sit on top.
It hummed and throbbed warmly under our bums, hot metal under the sun.
There seemed to be no adults. There seemed to be
no-one in charge, as the days swam by.
Until six O'clock when windows opened and
mothers called children in for their tea.
And after tea, we were back out
until the sun faded, until it was dark,
and one by one wooden doors
slammed shut for the night.

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