Camping out in Craig's garden,
four of us, thirteen or so,
and the daftness has given way
to important, dark-time talk.
Craig alone has a girlfriend, Paula -
he is a pioneer, entitled to ask,
"Fa dae you fancy, then?"
Inevitable question, social minefield
Answer, "No-one!" and you're a ****.
Give the wrong name,
and risk an eternity of slagging.
Tell the truth, and she might find out.
I go first: I have spotted a safe option.
"Ehm, I fancy Paula," I say,
and it's sort of true - she is a girl,
Chris goes next:
"Aye, I fancy Paula too."
"Me too," says Jimmy,
and we're all agreed.
We all fancy Paula.
We all fancy Craig's girlfriend,
and that's absolutely fine -
Craig seems satisfied.
And since none of us
has ever acted on such feelings:
since emotion does not yet imply intent
since there is no history of conniving,
of manipulating, of pursuit -
we are all safe and happy,
fancying our pal's lass.
Imagine that now. Down the pub.
Getting on. Marriages shoogly.
"Aye, I fancy your wife.
In fact, we all do."
Somehow I suspect
it would no longer be
the bonding experience
of that long-gone, pitch-dark night.