In order to distract me, my mother
sent me on an Archeology Week.
We lived in tents on the downs,
and walked over to the site
every morning. It was an old dewpond.
There was a boy there called Charlie.
He was the first boy I had really met.
I was too shy to go to the pub,
but I hung around the camp every night
waiting for him to come back.
He took no notice of me at first,
but one night the two of us
were on Washing-Up together.
I was dressed in a black jersey
and black drainpipes, I remember.
You in mourning? he said.
He didn't know I was
one of the first beatniks.
He put a drying-up cloth
over my head and kissed me
through the linen Breeds Of Dogs.
I love you, Charlie I said.
Later, my mother blamed herself
for what had happened. The Romans
didn't even interest her, she said.