Helen put dandelions
she had picked
into the pocket
of her dress


present for my mum  
she said
she likes flowers
soon be her birthday


but I don't know
how old she is  
but flowers
is the best to get


don't you think?
Benedict nodded
he'd taken her
to the grass


in the park
where dandelions
grew in abundance
she'll like them


he said
I think so
Helen said
they came out


of Jail Park
and crossed Bath Terrace
and along
by the metal fence


until they came
to Rockingham Street
she talking
about the man


who stopped her
on the way to school
a few says before
and he said


he would take her
to the seaside
if she went with him
there and then


what did you say
to him?
Benedict asked
I didn't know


what to say
he looked so scary
should have gone
to find a copper


Benedict said
I was scared
she said
so what happened?


I just stared at him dumbly
like I was an imbecile
as Dad says to me
when I sit


at the dinner table
with my mouth open
then what?

Benedict said


he took my hand in his
and it was hot
and sweaty

and I screamed at him


and he ran off
she said
good for you

Benedict said


should have
kneed him one
I was too scared
to do anything


that's why
I screamed
they went under
the railway bridge


just as a steam train
went across the bridge
and pushed grey
and white smoke


over the side
and into the sky
and she said
where would he


have taken me
do you think?
God knows
Benedict said


but not to the seaside
but he didn't say where
he kept that
dark image


to himself
and let it stay there.

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