Among School Children
When the bell went
there was a scrape of chairs
and we’d shoulder our way
into that bristling forest of green voices
not long above ground,
all reached towards the light.
I searched for breadcrumb rumours
of your whereabouts.
I just wanted to pass by,
to catch your eye,
though the gift of a glance
tangled my feet and tongue.
I made myself famous among classrooms
with stunts of disobedience.
I wanted my name in your ear,
to learn some lesson about daring.
Under a practised nonchalance
I hid the hurt of my hope
for a year of hours
until that time I found you alone
on the stairs and pulled you aside
and asked you.
Each night I lay in the dark hours
that circled your light
and tried to blink away
My mind had caught hold the string
of your rising moon,
buoyed me to such heights,
letting go was suddenly unthinkable.
And so, drunk with sleeplessness,
I hung about the stars
admiring your wonderful
rehearsed how I’d tell you
that while you slept five miles away,
I heard you breathing in the wind;
how each car that passed carried
a sigh over the wet streets between us;
how your moon lit my brief dreams
so that every word you never spoke
rang in my ears when I awoke.
‘Among School Children’ and ‘Moonstruck’ first appeared in Dream Catcher (35)
© Andy Armitage 2018