The hostel women came one summer evening
after tea. The noise brought Judith and me
from hiding-from-the-Germans, our game
in the bushy borders of the gardens
in our block of flats off Finchley Road.
A crowd of women, with some small children –
a few men were outside on the pavement –
were at the back of the building where we were
forbidden to go and the bins were kept.
A row of aspen saplings, planted
alongside the back fence,