! Childhood

At the height of sun-pressed summer
the tar on the seaside pavement
stuck to the Start-Rite sandals
with a sound like half-dried glue.
Gg-luck, went each step. Bliss.
Life needed nothing else.

Because we have not yet lived our life
we do not know - to grasp, or hoard -
that this - to live in the present with every sense,
without a thought, without a care -
is a totality of happiness
we may yearn for later

but may remember
properly
without sentiment,
without regret;
and thus,

forever.

by Michael Shepherd

Comments (2)

Beautiful, evocative piece of writing that I'm sure will stay with me for a while - thanks.
I'm saving this beautiful poem (when I can work out how to do that) because it has evoked a special memory of mine. As a child I was sent with my brother and sisters to a week's holiday in Sheerness in Kent and I remember the heat of the pavement penetrating the soles of my sandals as we walked towards the promenade and caught the first whiff of the sea. They were troubled years and these breaks were like heaven to us. I needed this memory and you have recaptured it for me. Thank you so much. Chrissie