HALF A LIFETIME (Paul O’Brien)
I was feeling sorry for myself, and thinking of the past
Wondering about my infant school, and children from my class
So I started up explorer, got myself a drink
It was getting pretty late, but it was quiet and I could think
I looked up names of places, to see if they had changed
Checking out the building sites, how the roads were re-arranged
When I came across a name I knew, with address and business card
I suppose I could have stopped myself, but I didn’t try too hard
So late last night I wrote a note,
to a man I’ve never seen
We’d played as kids together,
I was wondering how he’d been
What happened in the meantime?
What he’d done and what he’d seen
With more than half a lifetime,
and forty years between
I wrote about the wife and kids, the mortgage and the lawn
Places that I’d lived in, but never felt belonged
And now and then I’d love to go, through the lanes, around the back
And walk along that railway wall, into that cul-de-sac
Surprised, I got an e-mail back, “It’s really me” he said
“Remember I split your brother open, with a five-iron to the head?”
Funny I’d forgotten, all the stitches and the tears
Funny I’d forgotten, after nearly forty years.
Way back in ninety-seven, his father passed away
But his mother keeps them laughing, even to this day
I remember them as old and grow-up, when we were nine or ten
It’s hard to think that we’re older now, than they were way back then.
We promised that we’d keep in touch, how soon we didn’t say
Knowing full well that there’s a lot, that might get in the way
But watch out all you class-mates, and friends from way back then
Some winter’s night, sometime soon, I’ll be googeling again!