The Boy

The Boy

He was alive once,
the boy.
Eyes alight with the joy of the dance,
lithe, muscular, with the sheen of youth,
an athlete, delighting
in his speed and strength,
pushing to the limits
in sweat and blood;
a gentle soul,
perched high on the sand dunes,
watching the children play,
as he had once done,
in sparkling summers
of childhood
that last forever.
A darkness shadowing
the sparkle then;
what thoughts were there?

He was alive once,
the boy.
Learning to live
after cruelty and neglect,
learning to care
for a damaged world ;
a willing hand outstretched
as willing hands had once
reached out to him.
He gathered people round him,
attracted by the vitality,
the innocence, the dancing eyes,
a boy on the verge
of becoming a man.

He was alive once,
the boy.
But in the blinking of an eye,
the screech of brakes,
clatter of metal on tarmac,
choking fumes of scorched rubber,
a blur of movement,
the light went out,
and those eyes danced no more.
There is darkness
in the world.

I cannot walk at Gruinard now,
without seeing
the shadow of a boy
perched on the dunes,
running on the sands,
splashing through clear water,
echoes of laughter
on summer days.
Fifteen years of memories
of a boy,
whose world changed through love,
and who changed
the world around him.
Perhaps we met an angel unawares,
come briefly to earth,
a free spirit
to show us the way…..

Or perhaps
he was just a boy…..

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