Beside Chris’s house – my friend who’s a boy,
not boyfriend – a nice distinction –
we had a den, a place safe from adults
where we could be free to live the real life
of our imaginations.
Between high garage and brown plank fence,
we stole the gap under the eaves.
We closed off the chicken run end
with boards, against the smell.
The other end we made a door
of scrap wood and chicken wire –
our entrance to another world.
A shelf to hold our treasures,
piles of bricks made seats
at a tatty thrown-out table,
our only furniture.
A sleeping platform, which nowadays
would be called a mezzanine,
cantilevered above the door,
supported on a sturdy post.
A rickety ladder propped against it was our stairway,
a pile of new-mown grass cuttings our mattress,
fragrant when laid, stinky after a week.
We cooked outside,
behind the hedge by the compost heap,
our fire a secret, so we thought:
dampers of flour and water with a stick poked through
burned on the outside, raw in the middle.
No matter, we spread them with jam
sneaked from the house,
Damon Dean is guest host at Poetic Bloomings asks us to recall in detail a special place from our childhood.