Steve Armstrong



Boy Wonders


Steve Armstrong



The branch, a large branch

maybe 5 or 6 metres in length,

broke from the street gum

out front of my house.

I heard the crack

and the crash while lying in bed.

I found not a clean break

but a branch fallen

and still attached to the trunk

by a tag of bark and woody flesh.

From somewhere three boys

appeared amongst the foliage

that filled the entrance to my driveway.

Boys I’d not spotted

in the neighbourhood before.

Boys of 7 or 8.

They chattered like birds

while they climbed up from the ground

to the tree’s trunk. They disappeared

in the fragrant mass of leaves on the ground

that still held a sense of previous

elevation. The boys called out

from their hiding, teasing me.

I told them the branch was heavy,

might drop and crush them.

Then I said I’d scoop them up

with my shovel.

They laughed and stayed.

I couldn’t say another word

of warning.



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