Here is a poem.
The memory of half-sunny afternoons
as a child hang as out of reach
as the bulbous conkers I tried
to grasp with chubby woolen fingers,
jumping and landing with a squelch
on still wet patches of leaves underfoot.
After jumping and missing
and jumping and missing
I give up and wait for my friends,
who have scampered up the trees,
with a Mr Grifton, who would have been
104 today. Eventually they return to still
sodden earth and share their bounty with me.
We walk with purpose through the maze
of roads between the memorials
of people dead before our birth
until we reach the big, chipped yellow
gate. Again, my friends start to scramble up
trees and get foot holds in the wall until
they take their seats, looking over Gigg Lane,
the roar of a thousand fans heralding their arrival.
That roar was not for me as my hands clasped
two poles on the gate and I peered through
the neglected iron, trying to gaze upon
Keily and Gray and Patterson and Swailes.
For the next 90 minutes, I did not even see
the flaked paint crushing against my
thick winter gloves or feel jealous
that my friends had the pick of the view.
All that mattered was being there, part of it,
in some small way. Outside yet there.
At least as I remember it.
All I really have is the memory of
of passing on the memory
the shell of the story still dangling from
the tree, still just out of reach.