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By Example, July 2021

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Summer Childhood

We would swing from the old oak
On lengths of old wagon rope
Slung from a high branch,
The seat made from old sacks
That rubbed and wore against
Young bare legs as we clung
With excited screams as we seemed
To rise higher and higher
Pushed faster and harder towards
That always blue blue sky glimpsed
Between the swaying sighing leaves
Until tired of this fun
We browsed the old orchard
Eating the windfall fruit
Competing with the yellow wasps
And bees and flies
For the sweet plums damsons
Apples pears and then maybe
To the kitchen garden to sample
Strawberries gooseberries currants
Both red and black sweet raspberries
Then maybe a little afternoon nap
Before returning to the old oak
For one last swing before home
Holding mams hand along the lane
Leaving Billy Bulson's farm behind
For the old cottage beneath the trees
Overhanging from the old churchyard
To eat and play and sleep safely
Until the next say when mam
Returned there to work
And I returned to play
Passing happy long green summers
Until I eased into the shock of life

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