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Crazy Golf

That balmy summer holiday
by the seaside when I was nine
and woke but wasn't really awake
crying from deep in a dream
'It wont go in!'
not knowing the words
until they came out
only the desperate bursting
of shame.

I'd been playing crazy golf,
hitting balls up slopes,
round barriers, down chutes,
through the gates of fantasy castles,
anything to make torturous
the crooked yards
to tin flags
numbered 1 to 18.

Now 'in the middle of my life'
in fear and hope
I start the back nine
of life's miniature course
designed by someone,
one presumes, to test and amuse.
I roll this ball, this ball, towards
its hole, will it fall - it teeters
on the lip - will it fall?

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