Caroline Davies and Traci Robison

Traci Robison
Sienna Boy

Inspiration piece

Boy Playing

By Caroline Davies



Boy playing


Go out and play, my parents were forever saying.

You need more fresh air. You have to be healthy.

My father urged me to take more exercise

so I’d grow up to be a man.

My mother used to fuss over me.


They couldn’t understand how I preferred to stay indoors

playing music, singing, reading.

Some parents would love a studious son.

I’d try to please them by going outside.


The only other children were the street urchins.

Playing with them was forbidden.

I might catch something.

They were often hungry.

Their ribs made my chest look strong.


It was the same with the feral cats.

They were not to be encouraged.

But I did when no one was looking.

Left titbits in the chinks of the brick walls.


Who knows where I got this disease from?

From the street kids, the cats, the city’s drains, the bad air

rising up from the lagoon.

From the food from the cook who was sacked

on suspicion of having poisoned me.


It made my mother cry as I got weaker,

too feeble to go outside.

How I wish I could walk in the sunshine.


Everyone talks in whispers but I hear them

and know there’s nothing to be done.

My mother holds my hands and it’s as if I am

back in the garden and I feel warm.





One Comment

  1. Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm | #

    Nice spark pairing you two, nice!