David’s still on the roundabout,
swaying joyfully up and down,
peeling paint with his fingernails.
This is a scruffy square – cheap bricks,
concrete benches and rusty bins –
but it’s always been his playground.
My eyes switching on, off and on,
I smile and wave as he circles.
Just one more go, Daddy, just one!
I sweep him up. His cheek strokes mine
with my every step till we reach
our bolted, shadow-ridden door.
Waves are singing across the sand.
A metre in, we’re holding on,
our skin goose-bumped and thrilled by fear.
Here comes a biggie! you cry out.
My grip loosens and your voice sways
for the first time, ready to plunge.
Matthew Stewart lives between West Sussex and Extremadura. He works in the Spanish wine trade and has published two pamphlets, both now sold out, with HappenStance Press. His first full collection is forthcoming in 2017 from Eyewear Publishing. You can read his blog at Rogue Strands