We learn to walk in syllables,
each tumble a punctuation.
The best economies are charted
on calfskin scraped clean of fat.
We once stored gossip in oak apples
and vitriol, sometimes mixed in wine.
Skipping chants in playgrounds -
North; East; West; South:
Maggie Brown's got the biggest mouth!
My gossip is rich in dates
and times, channeled in ducts
clad in water sips.
A man chronicles the economy
in numbers and charts: harsh gossip
exchanged across pews.
Banks are for rolling down;
failures are charted in red ink
and extra lines at playtime.
How long will it take
two competing Year Four children
to complete a billion skips?
I found a vellum mouse nest, once,
caught in a heat of ducts.
There is no news; gossip
is for those who have the ear for it.
You need to be quick on your heels:
Maggie Brown was good at the kiss chase.
Sheets are for wriggling in,
bedtime gossip wrapped in cotton.