We’re camping near Dorchester in August ’78.
The Pope’s just died. I can’t distinguish reef knots
from sheepshanks; sheet bends from granny knots.
The army surplus tent smells mustier than my new
school’s changing rooms. Four of us pull the guy-ropes
loose, fraying Bagheera’s nerves. She puts us on
latrine-making duty. Heaving buckets of sun-warmed
disinfectant scream a vehement peacock-blue.
Matthew Paul is a local poet, based in Thames Ditton. You can read more of his work at https://matthewpaulpoetry.blog/