Something of the backstory to this is here
The children - if it was the children-
have restored the chalk world washed out by the rain.
Halfway across the square the squares have names.
Here is one tagged "HOME". The games
are not familiar to me
and change repeatedly. I think they are created
on the hoof. Two days ago, two doors from me,
a small boy disappeared from here, this square within a square.
Propped up nearby, a tattered Teddy Bear.
His innards hanging out, he squats
beside a faded rose. Are these
just two abandoned tokens of the game that they had played?
Have they no deeper meaning than dead zebras or the river,
lemon squeezer, jungle track or shark-infested sea?
Or are they something darker, a thing that should not be,
the trappings of a dread? anticipating grief?
I shiver at the sight - or maybe at the thought;
the thought that others had the thought
of how it might have been. It could be both:
the tributes were incorporated as they played,
became part of the apparatus of the game. Five hours
or thereabouts, his whereabouts remained unknown,
policemen calling door to door. The dogs
seemed out of touch - not knowing, I suppose,
how rapidly the scene can change, the game move on,
the children rearrange the landscape of the square.
Some dickhead, numskull, dolt invited them - the little boy
and friend - to his house to play their games, and they
had wandered off with him to see this somewhere new,
the patch of greener grass three streets or so away.
Now for the moment, men are laying water mains,
machines are in possession of the square.
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