Little Boy Blue

Horny under the haycock?
In a shudder of sleep, he lies
blithely beside his shadow.

No-one will touch him for this -
the way that his tears might prick
bubbles of blubbering speech.

Duty is stretched to the limit:
he cannot consider the beat
of his derelict kettledrum heart.

He mislaid his charges; they went off
with their eyes on horizons,
grazing their shins on the distance.

Pale blue: maybe the boy
is gasping for shots of air,
resuscitation a figment.

Maybe he's crawled, exhausted,
into the haycock's stifle, escaping
the wide open threat of the sky.

By the interest vested in us,
we will not be risking his wake:
we don't wish to find he's disturbed.

From the book Robinson Crusoe's Bank Holiday Monday