Our garden was spirals of green. Squeeze-through bean tunnels rigged with bee stings, skinny mud paths that grazed knees and bloodied hand-heels when it rained.
I chased hairstreaks and brimstones - ragged commas were caught breaths in bramble. I was too rough. Ants and wasps would get them, or they’d starve, because I’d scraped away balance with their fine-powder scales.
The field was neat rows of gold. Wide paths, made-good with stone, were sipped dry by birch and tall oak. There John Brown slept mythical: In his caravan with door flung wide open, rifle slung across thighs, and an old hat saving his face from the sun.
Peacocks and emperors flickered - fritillary swooned to a stop on damp skin. I sprawled in the dirt and looked at the sky. I listened... to the click-click of chopped veg, kids playing, men coming home. Stood as a pan groaned over gas-hob - then I ran.
Scrambled the bank, grabbed hold of chain-link, crashed into the garden. I knelt by the pen, let dogs lick my hands. Gave armfuls of long grass to rabbits. I danced around chickens, returned beeps to quails. Avoided wry-smiling ferrets.
I made it back before Mum needed to yell, swirled my limbs clean from the barrel - Excited because, in a couple of weeks it’d be teeming with coppery fish, and I’d give them ant-eggs and worms.
I shoved open the door, brushed past dead things. That’s what we did: Fed them until it was time.