Back to school

There’s tension on the tenement stairs. None of the doors are yet open but you can feel it. Slow time passes. A snag of August rain sweeps in as the street door opens. The first silent children set off for the first day of school, faces pale, clothes for the year too baggy.


I am a bull in the year of the pig
Heavier than daylight and solid on rock
They may call me Petros.

Calves of bronze and heels of granite
Untouched by flames from the molten core
They call me Petros.

There is no trace of my future becoming
There will be only footmarks in the sea-washed sand
But – and but – I am Petros.