1995 George Crabbe Memorial Competition – Joint First Prize
Adjudicators: Jeni Couzyn and Lawrence Sail
We walked along, as he might have done
With his father a long, long time ago.
A hazy heat, which had broken the
Pattern of rain, made the road dusty.
A swollen river,
Which I liked,
As he had done
And still did,
The way was longer than I imagined
And certainly a long way for a small boy.
A small boy, aged six. I have a small boy
And I try to imagine
Him doing this.
Or his brothers. Or his father.
Houses all well kept and leafy
Tram tracks not much different
From the way they were.
Three of us walking saying little,
Because it was quite a long way and there
Was little to say.
There it is.
And as you look I really cannot
Remember, as the shadows lengthen,
Whether he said is or was.
Copyright © Simon Maier 1995