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…watching the circus – breath taken, mouth
open – in the red and orange striped
big top on the Green with Miss Monica
from Budapest high on the silk ropes
then walking on the pier like any mortal…

and losing your splendid red and blue kepi
to a mild westerly on the steep steps
that zigzag down South Stack cliffs, seeing it
whisked just out of reach over the wall
and lodged in a crevice where only gulls go…

and cruising up the Straits to Puffin Island,
seeing the seals, the porpoises, the shags,
the cormorants, the kittiwakes, the lighthouse
up close – returning, taking the spray, seeing
the yacht stranded on the Lavan Sands…

and walking through what was Newborough Warren –
now a forest of Corsican Pine where
Common Cow Wheat thrives and occasional
Red Squirrels are seen – the redundant
buggy over laden with our beach gear…

and shooing the gourmet gulls while eating
fish and chips and mushy peas and curry sauce
by the paddling pool in the playground –
then making friends in the water as
Tornado jets practise surveillance above…

and swimming with Mummy and Daddy
off Ynys Llanddwyn for the first time –
as the fast tide comes in covering
the gritty sand and the still rock pools
and crabs of all colours and sizes …

and crabbing on the pier with Mummy
and Daddy, with the line and bucket bought
in Cromer and the offal from the kiosk
for bait and putting them gently back
at the water’s edge with the gulls hovering…

and finding a young, frightened black spaniel
on the secret steps in the garden –
banked high with buddleia and butterflies –
and running to tell us and helping
rescue him and learning his name is Henry…

But what will you remember of all that?
Not new best friends or storytelling
with Grandma or blowing raspberries
at Grandpa – the best thing, you tell us, was
the old castle playground.




© Copyright David Selzer

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