On the hill I find the smudged remains
of last night's bonfire;
the shrunken envelopes and newspaper
are brown and crinkled
like the underside of a mushroom,
and the slender black sticks
are curved with the symmetry of bones.
Sam appears from the trees;
plaid shirt, dishcloth scarf.
He throws his coat
over the nettles and lets me
hug his knees whilst I cry.
Once my shoulders stop shaking
he teaches me to roll my own cigarettes.
I pinch the filter with two fingers
and concentrate on curling
the ghost-thin paper.
My first attempt fails spectacularly;
it resembles a bloated chrysalis,
the tobacco leaves creeping
like a butterfly over the end.
There's a strange, calm silence between us;
like the time we were cat-sitting
at Miss Hulme's house,
and we sat up until midnight,
waiting for him to turn eighteen.
Suddenly, it's two years ago...
And it's just me and Sam.
Me and Sam against the world.