And this is for my grand-daughter, Summer, who, 15 years after this poem was written for her, is adventuring her way through Asia's 'frights' and 'wonders', and those legs are definitely longer! Be safe, my lovely girl. Be magnificent.
Riding the Fright Box
This time she wants me to be a man
on a fairground ride – scaring her
with darkness, cockroaches, a skeleton
shuddering through invisible doors
in the corner of the yard. .You sure
you’re old enough?. I growl as I slip her
into the garden chair, the hula-hoop
a safety bar across her chest, push a lever –
and she’s off across the cobbles’
rickety track, jeans tucked in her socks,
ready to brush away roaches, sway
from flesh-eating zombies, calm snakes
with her own special hisses before bursting
back into the light, nothing nibbled or missing,
saying it’s my turn. 'Keep your ‘ands on the bar
and level with your breasts Miss,' she warns,
and I laugh, but she’s suddenly taller,
her neck and legs longer than they were
two minutes ago. She presses the button.
I judder forward, turn and watch her wave.