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by Dee Goodman

A retired teacher I know from the poetry group that meets in Llandovery. She taught Matty and she knows that he died young, though she doesn't know the circumstances.

Girls and boys come out to play
The Arcade lights are bright as day
Bang bang you're dead!

Matty's mum is on the game
And no one knows his father's name
Matty's tough, he never cries
And the weight of the world is in his eyes.

Each morning he gets up and dressed
In filthy pants and dingy vest,
His nan's old jumper to keep him warm
But the other kids wear school uniform.

School's OK at dinner time
But the Arcade calls with a different chime;
School is warm and sometimes fun
But school won't let him play with a gun.

Bang bang bang! In a burst of stars
Fly broken men and blazing cars
But it isn't real, it's only a game
And tomorrow they'll all be alive again.

Some days a nice man buys him chips
But Matt knows how to use his wits,
What he sees he doesn't say
And the cut of his jib says KEEP AWAY.

Girls and boys come out to play
The lights go out at close of day
Bang bang, you're dead.

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