All the best places were forbidden, disused,
decrepit, far from net curtains, aunts,
mother spoiling a lost fatherless boy.
Best was the brickworks. We thrust, like commandos
sharp with twigs and fear, through undergrowth
into the yards. Blackberries burst, purpling
in private summers. Once, I hid in reeds.
A sundew glistened. A horsefly hovered.
I heard my companions calling, calling…
My mother met us raging, loving before
friends who had fathers. Shame prickled my face
the blackberries had stained.