A couple of weeks ago I published a poem from St. Bernard’s Hamstead church magazine. I mentioned at that time I had written a poem in a similar vane. The following poem was written in 2007 and inspired by a poetry workshop run by Poetry Wednesbury. What I wrote (sorry Erne) on the night was second rate but a few days later I came up with this version. I hope you like it.
I remember when chips were tuppence a bag
and the News Chronicle was the daily rag.
Adolf’s air force bombed our town
and lots of houses came tumbling down.
We played on the bomb peck in all the rubble
And very often got into loads of trouble.
Pig bins were common with an awful smell
Recycled food for dogs, cats and tramps as well.
I remember my trousers ragged and torn
Mom shaking her head and looking forlorn.
Charity boots from the Daily mail
they were given out free and not for sale.
The boots were too big by a size and more
For the first few days my feet were so sore
“Yo’ll grow into um” my Mum explained to me
When your feet hurt that’s hard to see.
School dinners were wholesome and also free,
they kept us nourished my brother and me.
Marked with an F my ticket cried shame
We stood in line we weren’t to blame.
Dinner ladies in white with spoons of wood
“have some cabbage it’ll do you good”
Lumpy custard, treacle pud or rice
Our meals were cheap at half the price.
I remember the loo at the top of our yard
with newspaper wipes that were ever so hard.
You never lingered on our bog
Especially on cold nights or in a fog
You often went with hesitation
But none of suffered with constipation.
The cold at night when we said a prayer
the faces around all in despair.
Fire in our grate when we were ill
No Doctor to come with a magic pill
I remember the cock roaches under the stair
And lying bed thinking this aint fair
The room was filled with the sweet smell of pee,
From the chamber pot that you couldn’t see.
Lumpy mattress and cold floor,
Oh yes I remember and lots more.