Memories of alleys

There is a price to be paid at all dark entrances, a ticket to be bought from the carnival man. The child shivers and steps off the tame streets. 

Treasure must be gilded with danger: somewhere in the weeds, wrecks and pails is a scrap of sunhazed glass to be pocketed with its due scrap of reverence. 

In the deep shade there’s a place to stay hidden, building tunnels and houses in the damp earth, safe as beetles.

Where the earth smell sickens in the farthest corner, shapes seethe on a dead mouse. Pocketing his coin, the carnival man laughs.

Suddenly it’s time to be found, to race long shadows between wires and cold walls, breaking through the last ragged hedge into light and the smell of home, ovens and floured hands. 

A small journey is all journeys.