We’re eight. Blue paint on our faces and furs on our back.
We wear curtains and make bows and arrows from sticks
and paint a target on the fence
to practice while our brother makes a Viking warship out of wooden pallets.
We are free.
We are young.
We capture prisoners and dance to Irish music.
We paint murals and make paper and try to create fire from rocks,
even though we rarely manage to.
We create Saxon camps in dry flower beds
and adopt frogs as our pets.
We go to the pond
and study and write notes
and we learn about creation and fish and plants
and we collect water to look at under the microscope
with an enthusiasm that only comes from
We bring home jars of frog spawn and put it in a box
and watch everyday until we have tadpoles and
then until we have little frogs, and then
we set them free.
We build a treehouse/hut/fort.
We dig holes that seem so deep to us that we could reach Australia.
To have that childish hope again.
We find clay and create bowls and mugs and plates we will never eat off, but that’s okay because
at least we made them.
We are nine and I’ve just discovered the Greeks and Romans
We learn about the Trojans and the music
and the graffiti
and the myths.
Reader’s theatre with home-made togas
and crowns made from laurel leaves we found outside.
and Paris, prince of Troy
I become a hundred different people and stay up to read the picture books we have and the novels.
I come downstairs and announce that this is my favourite thing we have ever studied and can we do
I write and write and write and mum smiles because she knows this is what my life will be.
because stories are written in the lines of my hands.
We discuss Homer and Virgil and build Roman cities out of anything we can find.
We study Egypt
and the Israelites
and mummify a chicken
and make reliefs in clay and dress up and
grin at the camera because in that moment
there is nothing more fun in the world.