friends :: andrew waterman
First kids in our road, then friends met at school.
We vied tree-climbing, running, sometimes fought.
Nick, George Stone, Rodney Baxter, Brian who taught
Me to spell queueing, the Fortey twins (‘Just two’ll
Be quite enough’)… From ropes above the Ching
We’d swing, let go, land safe on the far side.
Whooping along on bikes and trikes, we’d ride
To Loughton, Ilford, circles widening.
Where are they now? Some grandparents, some dead.
Passing in streets, there’d be no recognising.
In me they live forever bracketed:
Fairisle pullovers, Woolworths’ snake-clasp belts,
Plaster on knees. On branches cut to stilts,
Or pedalling homeward as the moon is rising.