Halls, carved by years of crawling children,
connected along stairs of branches to rooms,
balconies of twigs within the hedge.
Where, high above the playground,
we played house, hidden from those
younger than ourselves, and observed the world below.
Here, in a leafy bedroom,
deep within the macrocarpa's welcome dusk
Amanda showed her breasts,
new formed, more aureole and pride
than womanhood,
and in giggling embarrassment we
became conscious of the difference
she now had - held over us.
Later, becoming more daring, she let us glimpse
the darkening hair between her legs
and feel, beneath her panties, its coarseness.
In time, we saw our changes
and, curious, let her touch,
felt a hardening beneath her hand,
watched her blush, back away
and, frightened of our difference,
leave the macrocarpa house.

Alan Papprill

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