Paeans - and Aches

over the years

Sunday, July 16, 2017


How old would you have been today, boyoboy?
I’m guessing you would have said
Two-year-old child I am
Or your other favourite age, sixteen.
So many things stood still for you,
So many things stayed unchanging.
Like your moneybox
Which you proffered to anyone
Who needed to pay for anything.
You knew there was always going to be money there
And that that money could pay for anything:
The bananas Dad pretended he had no cash for;
The ‘small phone’ on which only you would talk;
From toys you wanted, that keyboard you cried about;
The shoes that would never bear your weight;
The very many little treasures
Which fill a cupboard
Which was a gift from a hospital
Where you charmed everyone when you were there.
There was enough for all those things.
And you know what?
You were right, boyoboy.
Your birthday was the only one we’d have
A party for
And being July, it would rain
And we’d wonder, will they come
And you’d be sure they would.
And they would come, some bedraggled
They would fuss over you
Bring you red things, or music things
You were right there too, boyoboy.
That money box always had money in it
And you never aged, despite all those birthdays.
You would always be our little boy:
That was the deal, boyo.
That you would always be there
That things would always stay unchanged for you.
Happy birthday, boyo.