Mr Wimpy Stood on My Foot and Taylor Wimpey Took Away Our Meadow

I remember nineteen eighty-three,
my fifth birthday.
We were all having a pretty fine time at Wimpy’s
until the proprietor,
a giant of a man,
with shoes like oversized clogs of doom,
decided to parade for his public.
On the way out,
Mum asked me what was wrong.
‘Mr Wimpy stood on my foot.’

I remember twenty nineteen,
ringlets, skippers, white admiral.
Bloodsucking bugs attacking on every side
as we followed the narrow path
from humankind to wilderness,
past the snake sign,
across the bridge
and into the meadow.
I raised my camera,
but where do you start
in a wriggling patchwork of colours?
The crickets chirped,
the sky was alive
and copious things with wings
ambled left and right
on what remained of the path
like shoppers on a London zebra crossing.
Pairs of marbled whites flirted on thistles.
Every step I strayed into the long grass,
some half-dozen angry residents
skipped away from danger.
We lingered a good while
at a bush that crawled like no other I’ve seen,
then turned back.
I got some good pictures,
but the only one that remains of the meadow
is a vague, generic shot
that could have been anywhere.

I’ll remember twenty twenty-one,
Taylor Wimpey,
walking along the exposed and strangely accessible path,
your distant synthetic spec beginning to swell
with our fears.
A minute later, crossing the signless bridge
to gaze up at ‘Woodlands Chase’
and its mediocre bedrooms of sterility.
Dragonflies who missed the memo
buzz round soulless streets,
but never stop
and we too know the futility
of pining for something that has died,
but I’ll remember, Taylor Wimpey,
oh yes, I’ll remember,
and I’ve had thirty-eight years practise at holding a grudge.

Lawrence Moore has been writing poems – some silly, some serious – since childhood. He lives in Portsmouth, England with his husband Matt and nine mostly well behaved cats. He has poetry published at, among others, DreichPink Plastic HouseFevers of the MindQuince Magazine and The Madrigal@LawrenceMooreUK

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