poetry critical

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First Home (1950)

I don’t remember my parents ever really going out.
Dad did make short journeys to the coal shed.
Mum, list in her head, sometimes visited the corner shop
where the smug man in off white grocer’s suit,
chopped up the pages of her ration book.
That apart, they stayed inside, quiet as mice,
abandoning traditional ideas regarding front parlours.
Theirs harboured no piano or Sunday only crockery,
polished and stacked neat on a Whatnot.
They sat on a second-hand settee,
got cheap from the rag and bone man,
a couple of cushions thrown in for free.
I played with my toy train in the back room
which ran to the rhythm of a dripping tap.
Never heard voices but if the door
was ajar there was faint whispering
as if they’d passed a secret test, been blessed,
but disturbing the air would take away all they now shared.

28 Feb 18

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