No more do the boys walk up the slope
Like triumphant soldiers returning o’er the hills.
No more do their bikes charge through the alley,
No glorious riders on their steeds.
No more do they engage in war
On the green grass where football was their combat.
No more do their voices echo through these roads
As they did in our younger days when, innocent,
We were learning the ancient history of the world
And out-growing happy tales of bygone days
When the heroic warriors were always right.
With its new high fences and it’s spying eyes,
This place is more of a fortress than ever.
Alas, it is a stronghold that has forsaken
Its own young men, and the young friends
Of these young men, and the
Girls who were as princesses to them.
It is almost paranoia personified, this place,
One steep descent is the only way in and
One steep ascent is the only way out,
And you are always, always watched
And you are never, ever welcome.
Here they reject all who may come in,
Prison-like in guarding the one safe exit,
With sentries hidden behind blinds in windows
And the high barriers of pointed grey metal
Standing defiant against old neighbours and youth,
The prison-like place of perpetual curfew.
No more do friends come here to meet
As once they did friendly times.
We are now confined to history, to lonely places,
Disparaging remarks, anger on familiar faces.
No more will this place ring with sounds of happiness
Like it did before abandonment of innocence.