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you recognise

the grave gaze of a child

who’s spent too long indoors

and not tumbled wild

and hollering down

a country hillside.

 

has instead turned inward,

nursing undefined allergies

through a feverish summer

of solitude

and confinement,

reading library books

beyond his age bracket

till his mind knew more

than his body ever would.

 

pale as water in an opaque glass

against the sun burnished

sturdy limbed vigour

of the boys from the neighbourhood.

their grazed knees and scarred elbows

talismans of rites of passage,

earned over long daytimes

of companionship and quarrel.

he sees them through a mullioned window

indistinct images from another life.

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