Too much too soon

she was not a bad person
just nineteen
& adrift in the world
a kid from care homes
struggling to find her way
& I was thirteen
another alienated kid
who had smiled at her
that was all it took
my world changed forever
end of just hanging out
with friends doing nothing
days of football
listening to music
riding bicycles to nowhere
I’d meet her after her work
go find our quiet space
& that was it
six months of that
she found a fella
near her own age
& was gone
I don’t remember feeling sad
in any way about that
tried going back to hanging out
with friends
listening to music
playing football
but I was changed
a marked kid
‘cos of course I’d told them
about her
things we did
& they wanted every little detail
for their own furtive obsessions
girls my own age got interested
as I was now a bad boy
& the ladies love a bad boy eh?
& all I wanted
was to forget about it all
go back
to riding bicycles to nowhere
where now
all roads led
to one destination

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