You were my first friend.
Your name - Helen.
One from a childhood full of Helens,
and Karens, and Claires (Clairs, Clares) -
and Lisas and Sarahs, and Michelles.
Your family lived next-door to mine,
and we would run around in each other's homes
in our little dungarees.
Then your parents took you,
and your little brother, away.
They rented out the house,
but sometimes, it would remain empty for months.
We would drop sweet papers and lolly sticks
down the gap between the fence and the shed.
taught me to use
your shed as a toilet.
She said that she had your parents' permission -
but yes, I did kind of suspect...
I think that I only did it once.
I didn't really want to.
I wasn't allowed to keep in touch.
To send letters across the various
continents cost far too much,
so my parents said.
Jo and Nicola did stay in touch.
They were allowed.
When you finally came back,
years later, you had another
who had been born abroad -
and you got along well with
Jo and Nicola,
but you weren't really interested
in me any more.
People move on, apparently -
but yet, I didn't. You did.