Sparkling green walls covered in frosted webs
A thousand hedges grid-locked our estate at dawn
October school-runs on foot, lawns damp with dew
We’d strip privet sticks and collect them in loops
One web on top of another until a sticky shivering
Vibrated in our hands, dew running down stalk to palm.
We knew nothing then, spun our own stories as we traipsed
Slowly toward a school playground fuzzy with chalk
Circles on walls, boards, exercise books and balls
Punctured and hiding below those spun nets
The exhaled breaths of football careers not yet dead
We curved balls endlessly at bare walls
They came back every time,thuds ricocheting
Against the garage walls our only release
Drum n Bass lives before we knew the words
Stamping out glam rock tunes in our heads
Now the lawns and hedges torn up turned to gravel
Commuter belt rentals cars packed in like terraces
Nothing breathing just dead ground that floods easily
The earth covered and the dreams we had floating away
Over the hedges, nets, lawns like vapour trails
Heading west to unknown futures no longer there.
A new boy in my old bedroom repeats an overhead kick
On a digital platform.
Dreams of escape as a ball lands in a net.
Cannot hear the milk train on the loop.
Ignores far sirens and sticky hands cradling the dead.
The London – Oxford railway line bypasses my hometown of Didcot on a single track known as ‘The Loop’ to thirteen year old trainspotters…