And finally I'm getting back to my autobiography in verse. This return to an apparently abandoned project has been prompted because in May I will be having my farewell performance at Bilston Voices and I want to prepare something a little different, a little special, for it and have decided that the ideal thing would be an amble through my life in verse.
When we left it last I had just written about how bad I was at games lessons. There are, however, a couple of poems that need to slot in earlier. This is one of them. It's called "Freedom" and refers to an incident before I start primary school.
In the marketplace a child slips from his mother's grasp,
And, for a moment, is free:
Free to dodge between adult legs:
Free to clamber over pallets of goods:
Free to be chased from the wrong side of stalls:
But then he looks around, suddenly alone
In a world full of people:
Alone to wonder where mother's gone:
Alone to stare up at distant faces:
Alone in desperation, needing familiarity:
He begins to run, races from the market
Along the busy pavements:
Races on in purest, blindest instinct:
Races and retraces the route they'd come:
Races with racing heart and streaming eyes:
Home again he sits halfway up the stairs
And, energy spent, he weakly cries:
Sits in the narrow angled stairwell:
Sits with the door open, wanting his mother:
Sits until she finds him and, also crying,
Manchu Is Being Preserved in China’s Northwest.
20 hours ago