In those crystal water days
before pollution, when bubbling springs
gushed; flooding the watercress beds
and cooling the feet of paddling children,
reliable Summers sat like a season of joy.
With shirts bulging with stolen apples
we ran the slime of frog spawn through
our seven-week, holiday fingers.
The woods dark and cool in places,
its clearings full of warming, flashlight rays.
Rolling hills became our giant cardboard slides
as wild rabbits watched from a safe distance.
Our scruffy, mongrel dogs barked
and joined in the mayhem
of freedom and innocent fun.
Below in the valley, horses delivered bread,
ice-cream men rode bikes, sweets sat in jars
and women talked over fences of
washing, prices and husbands.
The steam from trains covered the houses
like a disastrous fire, but cleared to reveal
my memories of those special days.