Billycart Lane

This poem is dedicated to my brother John, who turned 70 on January 5, 2016, and says he’s not dead yet

A sheer slope
down the hill
as a line ruled
on Frankland’s map;
we called it Billycart Lane.

My brother and his mates
built the cart in our shed
from old pram wheels
and an orange crate.
It looked flash
with the Milo lids for headlights.
Someone’s Mum’s washing line
provided steering.

The heroes
hauled it by main force
two in front and two behind
up the slope
taking turns
to hurtle to glory
down the lane
across our street
bumping and clattering over the kerb
to come to rest
in the gutter
just before Charles.

These days they ride skateboards.