I'd love to travel back:
feel the sweet warmth of mints
inside my mouth in 1890,
lick Victorian ice-cream,
follow that monochrome lad
who just slipped round the corner
into the rest of his life.
Granddad when an urchin
stole rides, he said, just clinging
to a horse-drawn carriage
then after smashing windows
police rang the doorbell at night;
blue pills they dished to anyone sick
when later a corporal in the war.
So thank you, early pioneers
for the bemused folk crowding the lense,
staring at us through portals of time
but unable to communicate,
oblivious to sufferings ahead
with no idea we'd understand it all.
The Lake, August 2020, Editor John Murphy.