The Child Catcher Child

19 March 2012

Just back from StAnza where we launched the Split Screen anthology, edited by Andy Jackson

Here is my Child Catcher poem from the anthology.  I figured the Child Catcher must have been a child once…poor boy.  He was just a little bit different… This is him, in case you’d never met his acquaintance:



The Child Catcher Child

I was eleven
when my gift was revealed
in a game of hide and seek.

After that, word got around
and I was not allowed to join in
except once, when they tied me to a tree.

A fleshy boy held out a woodcut
of Hansel and Gretel
as they all skipped around me.

I’d uncovered every child,
and winkled out those
who didn’t know they were hiding

behind curtains,  in glory holes,
in the church yard, in attic rooms;
the smell of pork cooked in honey and milk.