Prologue Hom

The Golden Time

The summer Frankie was seven
was paradise, a heaven
of soft sun, fun with Corinne.
At Elswick Pool they pretended
the plants were jungle,
crocodiles lived in the shallow end,
under the water they were fish,
they opened their eyes
and swam amongst the sea of legs,
Corinne and Frankie
easy, like that, sweet
in the street games
Block one two three
Chasey, The Princess
and her ladies. One day playing Skippy
with Corinne, Donna and Kalisha,
Frankie was in the middle, chanting
Salome was a dancer.
She danced before the king.
Everytime she danced
She wiggled everything.
“Stop”, said the king
“You can’t do that in here.”
Out of nowhere
a hand grabbed Frankie’s T-shirt
Dad’s face was a storm cloud,
he gripped Frankie’s shoulders,
his voice a thunderclap:
SKIPPIN’S FOR LASSES, FRANKIE!
then whacked and whacked
the backs of his skinny legs.
Frankie was crying,
he looked in Dad’s eyes
and saw a dark tunnel.

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