by John Keane, UK
It squats amidst the park; a solitary pool Around a silent fountain; long since parched and still, Its low, protective walls enclose a concrete span Dry as a desert where no sky has ever rained. No life at all; except a single watchful crow And scrawls of ragged weeds competing for a life. Back forty years or more, when other themes prevailed Elusive truant boys absconding from the town Would dredge the muddy deeps with nets and sharpened sticks And kill their captured frogs with hoots of savage glee; Some hammered between bricks; or hurled in joy aloft To meet with death astonished, smashed on paving stones. And now the pool stands silent every spring; Like rain, the decades come; like youth, the decades go; Yet no green caudate chirps fill April as they should. Three grey men haunt the park, bethinking what it was They ever did to earn this joyless quietude; And what is missing from the autumn of their lives.