All Aged 7

Fiona Lewis – who’d handmade me a Valentine’s card
Thomas – now an architect
Fiona Brown – whereabouts unknown
Marcus – who’d kissed me the year before in a filmic manner
And I

We sit on the concrete bridge to watch
as each in turn we try not to botch

our attempts to walk the ledge
running along the brook edge

A metre and a half high
up above the water
the further one progressed
the more the ledge got smaller

the angle more acute
your whole body
flattened against the supporting wall
and that’s not all …

Right near the end
but still too far to jump
it felt like the soles
of one’s school plimsolls
could easily lose their grip
then slip

Sending us tumbling into the shallow waters
into the weeds
creating billowing clouds of mud
and scattering all of the minnow fish

We played this many times
and the challenge
and excitement
never once diminished