Tom Tafferty went dancing when the sun was in the sky.
He danced a reel of summer days the length of Peckham Rye.
Grandad raised a glass and Granny sang as he danced by
the wraggle-taggle fields of Peckham Rye.
Tom Tafferty went dancing when the sun was sinking low.
He danced from Borough Market all across to Pimlico,
and Kitty, Katy, Matt and Sam, Danny, Ben and Joe
went dancing with him down to Pimlico.
Tom Tafferty went dancing when the sky was growing dark,
ten times round the Turkey Oak, at dusk in Dulwich Park.
Light as running laughter, his heels flashed golden sparks
like fireflies glowing bright in Dulwich Park.
Tom Tafferty went dancing when the moon was shining down.
It led him north, through Charing Cross and into Camden Town.
Sure and soft as starlight, his footsteps blessed the ground
and angels danced that night in Camden Town.
Tom Tafferty went dancing when the moon was on the wane,
dancing through the darkness to the end of Lordship Lane.
The trees cried toffee-coloured leaves, the clouds cried silver rain –
the likes of young Tom Tafferty would not be seen again.
First published on Snakeskin Poetry Webzine