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Childhood these days

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What it was to disappear,

freed from home’s suffocations.

To know such benign neglect –


trespass farms, trek through forests,

gone till dusk made us shadows;

drag heavy legs through black grass


back to paraffin-warmed rooms:

to baths hot as nettle stings,

boiled eggs and buttered armies.


No internet unboxings,

no dolls with teen concerns, faux

Californian accents.


No harm beyond a grazed knee

or a foolish dare. Nothing

more diverting than ourselves.

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