At Jarra Slacks in 1955

I am lying in deep grass,
friends hover at some distance.
A tanker edges into the Tyne.
Cranes salute. Must be for me.

The Ballast Hill’s lost to flowers
from Spain, Portugal, Heaven
wherever that is.

Jarra Hall our castle on the hill.
See the bandstand where we play nowt but the fool.
I have not seen Bede, we sing, ‘Glorious Saint Bede’
at school but I have not seen him. Yet.

I walk up the Church Bank, heading home
to Hope Street, where I pray at the coal fire
that spits like next door’s cat.
I sleep and dream
I am lying in deep grass.

Tom Kelly