Drawn am I to childhood haunts, Memories of country dance on the lawns, Long afternoons on the sand. Nets and shrimps and boiling them in someone’s holiday kitchen by the sea; We went with people we hardly knew back then; Days were long and carefree; How many times have I walked that smart promenade and ,tired and hot, climbed the steep steps to the cliff path? Just that the grassy path has gone- Fallen to the sea And the gardens we walked behind- which always smelt of fermenting grass clippings- Now tumble over the edge Of the Jurassic coast- The compost heaps long gone; The coast has a fancy name Fossils drop when the gardens slide. Now we turn left at the top And Granny and Grandad’s cottage (one row back) are now on the official route- the path goes up their lane; The breathless walk by Grandad out to his favourite view has shortened- He’d like that! We always wished they had one of the houses opposite with the sea view, But now those have shrinking gardens And will one day be condemned; Yet Marley Cottage Is just the same- Black paintwork and wonky tiles, And Granny’s kitchen garden built into the bank at the back By the wooden gate,still there; The lawn is still square but Without Grandad’s stripes; How I loved to watch him roll the hand mower back and forth And bounce on the red space- hopper Up and down like a horse in the Grand National Did they ever dream like I do? Memories that take me back Like yesterday And pull me To the little town by the sea With emotion so strong that it scares me- a sense that I belong Even though I never lived there Just holidays till I was 8.