Friday, 23 April 2010

Concrete Dinosaur

I spent some time with my grandson today - you can see him there at the bottom of the dinosaur's neck, feeling very pleased with himself after having accomplished a smooth slide.

dinosaur slide

We count the dinosaur's toes and then we count them
again. Its rough, tree-trunk legs hefty with concrete
have been painted many times over, this time
in art-deco colours, yet they still retain
the original marks of the trowel.

The first child I watched slide down its long neck,
was thirty-six years ago, almost to the day,
a boy called Daniel, the son of a friend,
when fall zones, combination play pieces,
donkey rockers and tubular steel

wasn't as important as sawdust and function,
jungle-gyms, old wagon-wheels
and real traction engines. Today my grandson
looks at me with a composure
drawn from the sap of a million ancestors,

as if he knows all there is to know already
from here, but is unsure
whether he'll let me in on the secret or not.
For now, we'll just stick with him deciding
when it's time to leave.

Kay McKenzie Cooke


Jennie said...

The most stand-out line for me is the composure metaphor - sap of ancestors is powerful, meaningful & therefore memorable. Thank you for your gift of imagery.

Catherine said...

I liked the composure metaphor too, and I love the counting of the dinosaur's toes.

Claire Beynon said...

Ah, the innate wisdom of children... in this case, wondering whether he'll let you in on the secret! And then there's your adult's wisdom that knows about patiently waiting.
Lovely - L, C x

John B said...

I'm impressed - a poem a day. They're good too. Really liked immigrant woman in the odt.great on matter of fact way kids deal with changed circumstances - and Gore was ok - and "there were shops". Image of the kea very powerful but without any undue drama. I thought the poem was really effective. Kia kaha tonu - all the best for the rest of the month!

Unknown said...

I like the fact that the toes must be counted again - that's what kids do!

Kay Cooke said...

Claire - Thanks (again). :)

John B - Thanks John - much appreciated.

Barbara - Don't they just! :)

Kay Cooke said...

Jennie - So sorry to leave you off - just realised ... I appreciate your comment so much, thank you~ :)

Kay Cooke said...

Catherine - And I appreciate your support too~ As always.

Clocking Out

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