Forts

As a child
We built
Forts in trees
Splashed in creeks
Played in gullies.

At school the gully called
And so we spilled one and all
Over the edge and down the banking
The smell, the taste
The sounds, the whole sensation
Waged a war
Against the sensible ideation
Of some teachers
Older people
Who one
now assumes
probably longed to be our equal.
Our wild and muddy world
Was a creation
Made despite
Out limited education
Our minds freeing
Fleeing from a stilted
Rule bound
Constrained
Way of being.
The headmaster
called a meeting
to warn of alligators
And monsters grim,
In gullies wild.
Some kids sighed
Others were clearly terrified.

We went home to ask our parents
We thought these elders wise
When they sent back
This clear advice
There are no alligators in that creek.
There’s no monsters in that gully.

What we’d been told
Was not true so now we knew
It was our minds
And our hands
Which defined our plots and lands
Our bivouacs
And important
Imaginary borders
Complicated structures and
Ever changing
social order.
So once again
The gullies call was answered
Skirts and shirts got stained with mud
And of course some
Occasional blood.
We went boldly, no longer
restrained
We learned
lessons, not taught
But earned
One amongst them
Was to ignore,
advice from men
Who condemned
And then attempted
To suppress
Our
Brave heartedness