Dandelion Days

Sweet peaceful field on the edge of town, embraced by trees
Its long grass borderlands populated by squirrels and rabbits
and dizzy whiteheaded elderflower sprays sent spinning by the breeze
Thirsty lunchhours half-heartedly hunting fairies in the hollow of the Old Third Tree
and building them houses from twigs in the fifth silver birch
Idle dustbowl lunchtime play seemed to stretch for eternity
Until the shadows cast by the creosote-scented fence against the crumbling redbrick wall yawned tall
and the reception kids’ mums and dads came to call, which summoned the ice cream van
Whole lunchtimes spent constructing 100-head daisy chains with chaingangs of girls in check dresses
Boys playing pirates whirled and shrieked around us, flashing white shirt corners untucked in defiance of the dinnerladies
We’d literally have a field day
The squeak and smell of pumps (or were they plimsolls? It was never settled – we lived the isogloss) on varnished wood as we trekked through the hall, sepia sunlight striping the floor we skipped over
Pointless circular games like ‘I am the greatest/Oh no, you’re no-ot, not for the longest *clap-handstand*’
and cowardly kisschase when you still had no idea why anyone would want to touch a boy’s cheek
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Ah, truly sunsoaked summers, a sweet land of grass cuttings & heat haze
The drone of nearby lawnmowers and soaring distant planes
I miss those days
Carefree of everything but where I’d hidden my conkers
What flavour squash to have
And not being too far away to hear the bell.
Sometimes I want to be 7 again.

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