I sat on the bench on the High Row,
like an old man, or a tramp:
17 years old, wearing a charity-shop
greatcoat and a prog-rocker’s haircut,
listening to the Clash and the Pistols
in my head: another year to wait
before the Sony Walkman Cassette Player
let us take our music everywhere.
That boy is missing,
though his hairstyle is
back in the stylish greys
of an “anteek” filter.
The music is played
in the flat keys
of hexadecimal code.
I sit on other benches,
an old man, like a tramp,
60 years old wearing a three-quarter
Kray coat and a Bahrain-souk keffiyah
worn like a scarf against the cold
unfelt by that boy from so long ago,
before the sun touched northern skin
when adventure took him everywhere.