On life being confusing as a child


I see her
being stung by the bumble bee
on the windowsill she
was told not to play with.
Then chicken pox, being sick.
Drinking warm water to fix her tummy –
really mummy?

Shutting the door to her room
to keep the monsters out.
Waking up in the night to find
her parents not about
and the lady next door there instead.
That little boy at nursery
slapping play-dough
over one eye: I’m a pirate!

Scrambling over the wall towards
the field at the bottom of the garden.
In her red shorts,  J’ai pas d’culotte
Led back into the house,
getting dressed not quite mastered yet.

The swings at bluebell time:
a neighbour with long curly hair
and armfuls full of them. Was it legal then?

Louise and her red wellies.
Being allowed in the tractor.
Winnie the Pooh on the radio, sat
at the table near the window
site of that bee attack.

Mousey the pony trotting off
with a shrieking cousin on his back.
First school day, at lunch,
assigned to an older girl:
    Would you like seconds?
I remember
my confused look at the clock.

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