Dream of Children



A Woolworths, vast, old-fashioned, many-aisled.

The counters high, too high for me to see.

I hurried on. The prams stood by the door

Brimming with infants, grizzling, bawling, wet,

Three to a pram. My worst fears realised.

Then I saw that one was silent, mine,

And knew I needed now some sign of life.

A tear-stained face appearing round the hood,

Bonnet askew, a nose that needed wiping,

A watery smile perhaps, of recognition.

Seeking me out and signaling his need…

But there was nothing.

Only a stained sheet and a crumpled blanket,

As the others wheeled their loaded prams away.