The Lost Skaters.
Peter A. Russell
When you were teenagers you swept round Richmond
a lonely lost couple:
one with his mother going to illness
the other barely loved by hers
With the air-raid shrapnel fizzling on the ice around your skates
Now you are eighty-six and eighty-seven I come to see you
to hear again and again about the war years and
the bombs and shelters and V1s and V2s and
bringing up a family in the suburbs in the 1950s and 60s and
the grandparents I never knew and those I did and
the aunts and uncles who died too soon and
the fishing trips and the continental holidays in tents and
my brother’s ex-wife and his current wife and
the cousins who don’t talk and their strange wives and
the garden that is too wet to mow the lawn.
I know I will be back in your empty bungalow
on a dead plot and you will be two teenagers once more
not lost, never again lonely but sweeping round the stars
With the meteors fizzling through the skies around your skates.