We went there every spring
(a kind of ritual if you like)
before the crowds got in,
donning heels to make the big rides.
In spite of growing up
we rode the Caterpillar first
then capered down the hill
to turn back time on Excalibur.
We screamed a swinging world
on the edge of a silver sword
as coins spilt from our pockets
to feed the eager coffers below.
We braved the Tower of Terror,
dredged the rumbling bowels of the Beast,
then thundered through the Gauntlet
emerging with souvenirs and ice-cream.
Our favourite entertainment
commenced at lunch and tea times:
we had to watch the jousting,
and we had to watch it twice.
The jester raised good laughter,
Mordred boos and drumming feet.
Sir Lancelot, the hero,
always won by the skin of his teeth.
As the fading sun set
closing gates meant time for home.
Our parents reconciled us
next year in spring we would return.
A promise unfulfilled;
recession, rain and rotten luck,
unforeseen, against our will
put an end to our faithful park.
And should the pumps go down at Banks
cold Vivian lies waiting
in Martin Mere’s sunken climes
for times of reclamation
when Camelot’s old towers and rides
submerge in watery mist
and Lancelot, with tales of knights,
returns to the lands of myth.