They sit together,

Heads bending close

Toes touching in parallel lines

Through tiny holes

In their faded socks.

Kettles and pots whistle

From somewhere faraway

And their mother shouts over the din.

She pulls a face, that might be her

In a few years, and the soft

Corners of her mouth struggle a smile.

He just pulls at his shirt

And whispers that they shouldn't

Be late.

And towing a bat, a broken tricycle,

A branch from some sort of bush

Behind them, they walk.

Slowly. Past the rows

Of neatly boxed houses and

Flower-pot plants, until

They reach home, with red faces

And a backpack of excuses.

"We promise Mama, we'll

Come quicker tomorrow."