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BRENDAN RYAN

Play time

A poor man’s Escher of yellow pipes
hump slides, ramps and split level views
becomes a business in an empty warehouse.
Lattes, magazines, footy telecast on a widescreen
fathers checking mobiles behind the line of discontent.
Some stray into battle to snap a daughter
descending the slide in a lotus position.
A boy rattles the bars of a gate,
runs off, then shakes the bars again.
It’s a 3-Up study, a microcosm of our future –
girls running amok with painted cheeks
a boy hiding beneath a plastic dome
somebody being thumped, shoved, crawled over.
Like a smartie face biscuit on a plastic plate
I’m paying for fun, respite from the aimless weekend
of picking up toys, when can we watch television?
The boy pulls at the gate. Parents stare
into the middle distance, expressionless as time lost,
as the noise approaches concert level
we watch the children play watching each other,
tears are necessary.