Lego bricks slick with secret spices,
Chicken grease and almost-memories.
Though the Goddess loves your body
You’ll grow to be a killer, boy.
Little Hadrian hears the picket moan
As Picts and Bloods hit pavements
With blunt-bottomed pikes –
They’re marking out their territories
Left of the disused train line.
(Someone’s brother wants to tame
This suburb, to raze the wilderness,
To raise a voice
And burn his face on every coin
From here to Dagenham)
Look! Racing from the Estuary!
On wheels some say held teeth of Chrome,
Comes Streatham’s warrior queen, her
Battle moans stained blue with woad
And dripping with obscenity.
The old just stand and watch aghast,
A crumpled face fills weathered hands.
They call and shout to sign them up,
To send the symptom far away
And martyr youth on sand.
But little Hadrian’s troops stand proud,
Their boots, the boundary of youth
And age, laces trailing back three years.
The standard rises, spreads it’s wings,
And years begin their slow march in.