He could turn a grey day into a sparkling one,
by just glancing at me with those eyes of his
like ‘chocolate delight’, and that grin –
equalled the sun coming up. Then again,
he could conjure up a summer squall
from out of nowhere; a sudden
tantrum about nothing much at all;
could make superlative mud-pies.
and paint pictures of blue zebras –
minus stripes...Could do most things
he set his mind to...anything but speak.
I’d take him on my knee, try and get him
to repeat after me...’apple’, ‘bird’, ‘tree’,
even his name, but I guess ‘Barnaby’
is a bit of a mouthful, if you’re only three.
And then he’d give me that look –
said I was wasting my time – jump off
my lap; go running upstairs, like a puppy,
shunning the leash...a kite – its string...
a colt – the bit between its teeth...Back
to his world of dinosaurs, dinky-toys,
and demons, where make-believe
was the last word in freedom.