First Meeting

A nicely clanky flight
of shiny metal stairs.

A handful of figures
in spray-painted clothes.

A curious, unaware small boy,
pyjamas on, sandwich on lap,

switches on a boxy old TV,
stares at the flickering screen.

Silvery boots climb,
metal stairs thunk.

Boy stops chewing.
Checks behind his chair.

More steps clatter,
an unceasing flow

of metallic warriors
swarm, fill the screen.

He cannot look away
from encroaching threat,

frozen, open-mouthed.
Half in fright, half love.

The spray-painted men
are taking control.

He puts the plate down,
the food not finished.

An army awakes before him,
but not one he recognises –

not like his khaki plastic men
with their feet fused still.

His armies have expressions,
fixed, but present.

These silver shapes don’t.
Staring. Like him.

The kind man (who obviously plays
cricket and is therefore good)

seems helpless, watching
as they overwhelm.

And then there’s music,
ending, thrilling, summing.

They boy doesn’t move.
Even when dad talks.

That’s why he turns the TV over,
and why, some time later

the sandwich is finally
all gone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *