SENTINEL POETRY #26 Online Magazine Monthly, January 2005
Leaving town on a 711, returning ‘home’ to where
I’m forgotten. Anonymous faces: prams and cars spell
fresh opportunities - but nothing is the same
Girls pull on cigarettes in a dusky corner
boys jostle on the patchy green
And I’m the grown up, yet all alone.
I used to dream of returning here;
pulling aside this house in a shiny convertible
not a Stagecoach bus
although the throne isn’t important
I know what is - you don’t live here anymore
Scared to ask and too tired to knock - instead
I swing on the empty frame, toes skipping the tarmac
The roundabout removed, just a concrete square
Health and safety no doubt
In my mind, I’m still that child,
running and wheezing, the asthma attack
still lingers, like the cold marsh air
Careless phantoms, haunting my memories
tackling insecurity - and leaving me bare.
Ben Barton works as a writer for Saga Holidays Ltd. He has been publishing poetry for eight years in a variety of publications, including: Acorn, Isibongo, Linkway, New Horizon, Panda, Poetry Greece, Roadworks, Scriptor, Springboard, The Poetry Church, Taoism and Poetry and Time Haiku. In 1997 aged fifteen he won first prize in the Ottakars/Faber & Faber poetry competition for National Poetry Day (teen category) in his home county of Kent. The following year his poem The Re-Birth Remembered repeated this success by winning the competition again. The poem was also a winner in the National competition and was published in the accompanying anthology.