Yesterday my old friend arrived.
I said, straight away, “Where ‘s Jane?”

“Oh I forgot to pick her up,” said Judy,
“And it’s just started to rain.”

So Judy had to go back.
I refrained from asking her how
She’d explained why she’d forgotten her.
I said, “Well, you ‘re both here now.”

But that incident reminded me
About something that happened years ago,
When I took my kids to play centre.
We lived in Auckland. You need to know.

I drove to the play centre daily.
I also gave Alan a ride.
He was a little Chinese boy.
He lived two doors down – the same side.

On this particular day
I was driving back home at noon.
There was Alan’s mum, waiting.
(Her chosen English name was June.)

“Alan, ” I called, “Here ‘s your mother.”
I pulled up, turned round and guess what?
MY two children but NO Alan.
How come we ALL forgot?

What on earth was I going to say to June?
(I can remember that moment still.)
Suddenly a car passed and screeched to a halt.
The play centre supervisor, Jill.

Alan got out. Jill waved to me.
O waved back. Nothing was said.
Nobody ever needed to know
I was temporarily filled with dread.

I DID wonder what little Alan
Might go inside and say!
But all I know is he turned up
For his usual lift, the next day.
Hopefully he diplomatically chose
Not to give the game away!
illustration by ume-nori

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *