The Children of Bellingham

Three skinheads. Fourteen maybe fifteen.

Scrawny built, intentionally mean

Kicking a football, not down the street

But over houses. They were seeking to dominate:

Establish their pitch where they were kings

Of fear and intimidation, brutally frank,

In the innocently obvious way of the young,

Where all that matters is – who’s boss?


These were younger. Egg throwers.

Do you know how much an egg hurts -

Even when thrown by an eight year old?

Throw and run is the game.

Intimidation practice for when you’re older

And have your own kids to control.


The posse were our friends.

They did not throw eggs or kick footballs

Over our house. More likely to kick them round

Our garden or bring eggs to practice making cakes.

We loved them in their tantrums and arguments

Over who was best friend and who was ex-friend and who was next friend

But I suppose the game was the same

Who's friend, who's foe ...  who's boss?