Castles and Towers – Charlotte Clutterbuck

The bush-blocks, peach orchards
and dirt track of Tuckwell’s Lane
where we galloped the pony express
past the farrier’s glowing forge,
picketed our horses in the vacant lot,
posted letters in the red pillar box
at the weatherboard post office,
borrowed from the tiny library
Sutcliff’sThe Eagle of the Ninth
and other books about knights
feisty, not-in-distress damsels
castles and night watches in high towers,
bought milkshakes and cantered home
through dusk, birdsong and the clear
stars of Orion.
All gone
under concrete and tarmac and girders.
Today’s teenagers are driven
to buy pink dresses
lip-gloss and nail-polish
games where virtual warriors
slash virtual enemies with
simulated leaps and all too real
cacophony of sound effects
drink hot chocolate at cafes
and in the megaplex
watch three times through
celluloid reality games
where teenagers kill each other
until the hour of fluorescent lights
and midnight murky skies.