One balmy summer's evening
by the seaside when I was nine,
we hit balls round barriers,
down chutes, through the gates
of fantasy castles,
anything to make torturous
the crooked course
with its tin flags from 1 to 18.
That night I woke
but wasn't really awake
crying from deep in a dream
'It won’t go in!',
not understanding the words
until after they came out
only the desperate bursting of shame.
Those words, that cry, that bawl
was putted into the back
of my mind and is there still
as I size up the next hole
on life’s miniature course,
designed by someone,
one presumes, to test and amuse.
Then I take a swing
and send the ball rolling away...
all I can do is trust
it's got the luck, line and length
to pass the hazards in its path,
not get stuck in a trap,
and not go too slow or too fast,
the ball curves towards the hole
and circles the cusp, will it go in now?