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JACK DEBNEY

COVENANT 

A hundred ages ago,
when dinosaurs patrolled the earth
and pterodactyls pecked open the sun,
and old 78s just snapped in your hands,
and the town's first expresso bar still sported some dazzle,
and its second Chinese restaurant was facing scores of charges,
and a man suddenly turned lycanthrope,
barking his way on all fours past the fish merchants' houses,
and a crew of Icelandic trawlermen smashed up a cafe
simply because they hated the limp chips,
and the Free Church Council deplored the invasion of Egypt,
and you could leave your bike out, unlocked, all day
and it'd be there yet in the evening,
a grin all over its frame, speedometer flickering,
and the cinemas with their giant, evangelized worlds
were set unfair to close down, cheeseparing our best dreams,

I made a covenant with nostalgia -
that he'd get the fancy wrapping, the smartly tied bow,
whilst I grabbed the package within, sloping off
to ransack its delights in secret: yours truly,
the backstage whooper, the ancient brat in the know.