From her bedroom window
Lydia could see
the grass and pigeons


and some boy
with a bow and arrow
she could hear


her mother shouting
at her father
her sister


still asleep
in the big bed behind
the tattooed arm


hanging from the bed
her mouth open
Lydia saw the boy turn


it was Benedict
his quiff of hair
an arrow in his bow


pointing downwards
he was mouthing words
and making gestures


with his free hand
she opened the window
letting in


the morning air
are you coming out?
Benedict asked


Lydia's sister
stirred in the bed
where are you going?


Lydia asked
thought I’d go
to one of the big


train stations
see the steam engines
he said


she looked back
at her sister
the blonde hair


over her face
a breast hanging
out of her nightie


which one?
she asked
he fired an arrow


at a pigeon
but it flew away


he said
I’ve no money
she said


he went
to pick up the arrow
stuck in the grass


he wiped mud
off the end
when are you going?


she asked
after lunch
he said


walking up
to her ground floor
window and peering in


at Lydia's sister
can you call for me?
she asked


he said
will your mother


be ok about it?
last time
she almost


bit my head off
Lydia looked out
at the grass


and dandelions
she'll be all right


she said
uncertain but trying
to convince him


he said
I’ll call for you


he walked off
across the grass
holding his bow


and arrow
shut the blooming window
her sister said


turning over in bed
Lydia pulled down
the window


and watched
as Benedict
climbed the green


metal fence
and disappeared
from view


Lydia picked up
her sister's
dirty washing


for something
(in the meantime)
to do.


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