By July, their sandaled feet
are tanned with zebra stripes.
They build a tiger’s den from old sheets
pegged down with sticks
and broken blocks.
Out there, any picnic is a feast,
apple chips, satsumas,
raisin pellets, hula hoops,
tumblers of water laced with
purple swirls of Ribena.
Charge round for hours, roar
into monster battles, lunge daggers,
mud belly crawls through the undergrowth,
set traps for the gang next door.
Regular knocks on the window for drinks,
and have I any more superhuman food?
Two boys, at six, lean into each other, unable to talk.
I unbuckle and squeeze their nut-brown feet,
tell them little boy’s toes are my favourite food.
* Donna Coogan is from Dublin, but lives in Cork. She is a glass artist who has exhibited internationally. Her poetry has appeared in a number of periodicals, including Southword. She is a member of Wilton Writers.
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