Saddled with you for the afternoon, me and Paul
ambled across the threadbare field to the bus stop,
talking over Sheffield Wednesday’s chances in the Cup
while you skipped beside us in your ridiculous tank-top,
spouting six-year-old views on Rotherham United.

black and white, childhood, and scotland image

Suddenly you froze, said you hadn’t any bus fare.
I sighed, said you should go and ask Mum
and while you windmilled home I looked at Paul.
His smile, like mine, said I was nine and he was ten
and we must stroll the town, doing what grown-ups do.

black and white, childhood, and scotland image

As a bus crested the hill we chased Olympic Gold.
Looking back I saw you spring towards the gate,
your hand holding out what must have been a coin.
I ran on, unable to close the distance I’d set in motion.