The thing that wasn't Darren

The thing that wasn't Darren


I saw it at my window once
The thing that wasn’t Darren
The cold, wide, sidelong staring eye
Quite stole away my voice…

I thank God my dog found his!
(All boys should own a Labrador!)


The men in the flower bed were quite perplexed
Granddad chain smoked his cigarettes
With shaking hands
They spoke of plaster casts and scientists…
Then Grandma fetched the rake...

Later I basked in the hearth warmed wisdom of the aprons:
“Were-hares once were common here
On Pym Chair and under Shutlingsloh….
Best avoid the moon, do say your prayers
And don’t go near Toot hill”
“A salad of larkspur, shredded with fresh green apples
Would do for him, but think of his poor mum!”


Some months later they found his naked body…..broken
Hanging in the hazel coppice
At the bottom of the old quarry
The Coroner duly recorded
The death by misadventure
And the Vicar spoke, with much regret,
About young lives lost
And the dangers of sleepwalking.


Yet this much I know is true...
By all the laws that Newton knew
To land where he did,
Our sleeping kid
So far from the ledge of windswept sedge
He must have left that parapet
At forty-seven miles per hour!


He never could look where he was going....

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