“Ring-a-ring-a-rosie,” we screamed
holding hands in circles. We laughed,
fell, tumbled when the end came
and rolled about in the thick grass.
Mothers would scold us and click
their tongues. Big sighs came;
we knew the games were over
and retired the evening inside.
At night I played the game myself,
pulled on my teddy bear’s arms
and loudly whispered the rhyme
as I danced around my room.
Like a possessed child I danced,
fully drunk in the night’s vigour
until there came the trumpets,
slowly gathering pace outside.
They became louder. So did I.
I twirled as the house shook,
span around me and laughed
until it all blurred violently.
The sound was deafening
much like my heart in my ears.
The explosions rattled me
as wailings came and cawed,
but I carried on in my fever:
“We all fall down” I said, dizzy.
I knew I wouldn’t dance again.