Days of Lies and If Onlys
We got scolded when we climbed
the lemon tree, or if we did,
forbidden to sit on its branches;
they might give way, and we
could fall and hurt ourselves,
and then we mustn’t run to Nan
with our head under our arm.
She wouldn’t give a tinker’s cuss,
or so she said.
But today it was all right. Zac
made this dreadful concoction
out of dandelion leaves; maintained
it was magic. Drink it, and we’d be
invisible. It was kind of a squeeze –
him and me, but if we both
squashed up a bit, it was OK.
I liked it up there, the one place
in the world he could teach me
all those words a girl’s not meant
to know, let alone say. Then,
Nan would shake her duster from
an upstairs window, but she never
He said he’d give me his last
Rolo, although, as it so turned out,
there was another in his pocket –
albeit disgusting...covered in crud.
And I asked if he fancied a fruit drop...
except there weren’t any left,
and I knew it. Just banked on him
saying no; brung up the posh way,
as he was.
Then, Nan brought us kids
a jug of homemade lemonade
with a look that said, “Ain’t
nothin’ new under the sun. Anyways,
I’ve seen it all before – and some."
Bitter sweet, it tasted...as the kiss
he stole, and those lies we told,
one to another.