Talking of a colourless dream

Floating in the pin-stripes, drinks

And speechified air

Is a father: his wound is closed.

The only one who knows it … almost.

There is one other

A boy with a clock ticking

In a tight tie

Checking the walls

His wound is open.

He opens his mouth before his mind

Can bolt the gate and slam the cell

And play a colourless game

Feel a colourless feeling

And talk in a colourless language.


Heart out on the sleeve

Caution to the wind

He capsizes and swims

A cold flood of thoughtfulness

A drowning flood of kindness

A correcting, tidying, mopping flood of darkness.

In one searching, furtive glance

The stricken boy in the crowded room

Swings his searchlight round.


The clock runs down

The eyes meet

The father stumbles and almost drops the catch

Like an ungainly slips fieldsman

The boy smiles inside, happy.


For one, the moment’s lost in a blur of childhood dreams,

But for the other

That furtive glance

Has stamped a fearful mark in the gilded halls of spirit memory.

(Peter Volkofsky. Winter 2006)

‘The boy smiles inside ‘ … and outside