A charming little poem by Neil McCarthy, written for his nephew as an ode to the future and the footsteps once trodden himself. Illustrated by David Lemm.

How many times, singing, have I
untied your laces, pulled
off your shoes and held
one to my nose, pretending
to sniff some foul odour
if only to make you laugh?

As you grow older you will
forget such gestures; the
world as you come to know
it, an open envelope of
good news and bad. From
dependent to child to boy to
adult; an alphabet sung backwards.

'Laces' was published in our 5th issue, The Childhood Issue, which is available to buy here.