Remember being just old enough to go to the video shop, alone.
When you’re told, you nearly wet yourself. Your stomach
flips like the fried egg your Dad is having with gammon did.
It’s more exciting than when a bee lands in your honey hoops and
you have to scoop it out with a tea spoon,
shuttle it outside, and try dry it with kitchen roll.
Shutting the door behind you, and being out there alone on the street
the world is so many more different colours.
To the park, alone, is one thing, but down the street, around and across the road
to the shop, alone, is another, and wearing proper shoes too.
The trip is to get two tapes, one for the girls’ one for the boys, while
dodging glass from beer bottles, cracked pieces of wing mirrors,
babies booties and dummies and empty black jack wrappers.
Remember taking ages to decide which video to get,
looking at the more expensive, newer ones higher up and watching
older kids who breeze to the counter with a pile,
while picking notes out of their socks.
Walking back, slowly as possible, you feel thrilled, energized, wound up,
tucked under your arm, in a Safeway carrier bag,
two tapes you might be allowed to take back, alone, in a week.