A poem by Bethan Parker-Luscombe, providing a sweet snapshot from the halcyon days of an innocent youth. Illustration by Esra Røise.

Sticky haribo against my lips,
Stopping the words I wish to whisper,
In the darkness of the night
Giggles floating along the air,
Like musical notes,
The feel of smooth skin on hands
We hold as we run to the bathroom,
Too scared of ghosts and men wielding axes
To brush our teeth alone.
We unfold our hearts like diary pages,
To one another as we hide under sleeping bags,
Sheltered by the torch’s glow.

Now I wish I had those hands,
That heart and that crumpled hair
Spread over the pillow like a map,
The scent of excitement to
Flow into my heart, making it beat like
It once did, as in spotty pyjamas we huddled near,
Watching those grown-up films,
Back then, our only fear.

'Sleepovers' was published in Popshot's 5th issue, The Childhood Issue, which has now sold out. To ensure that you never miss a future issue of the print magazine, subscribe from just £10 a year.