Let’s pretend another world:
Peopled by dolls, or intertwined, table-cloth-covered books –
With twisty red pipe-cleaner Evil at its centre,
And Good a chalk Father Christmas.
Let’s pretend that plastic figures are real.
Let’s pretend that Cowboys and Indians hide in the garden –
And fairies wait for night to creep out from the Rockery.
Let’s pretend the the climbing frame’s a castle,
And I its Princess, immured in high tower,
Awaiting her Prince of Rescue and Delight.
Let’s pretend that the monsters can be shut up
In big books before bedtime; the sinister shape
Behind the door is always a dressing gown –
And Mummy or Daddy will cuddle us –
And rock us safely to sleep every single night.
Let’s pretend that imagination, so vast,
Covers the Earth like a multi-coloured ocean,
And that visiting underwater Royalty takes drowning’s place.
Let’s pretend that guns fire custard and jelly –
And bombs explode into harmless Hundreds and Thousands.
Let’s pretend that all tanks and ships and dangerous vehicles –
Are Dinky toys! So realistic in all but size. Capable of nothing
But warm nestling in a small child’s hand,
Or zooming the length of a Playroom.
Let’s pretend that peace is more than a symbol,
And ‘Happily ever after’ lasts longer than a novel’s end.
Let’s pretend that I am innocent, maiden, once more –
And that romance will blossom in healthy vines.
Let’s pretend that truth is universal language
And generosity of spirit prized above all wealth.
Let’s pretend, as we did when young –
Before the rope of shame and adulthood
Choked imagination to death.