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Speech Therapy (1953)
larrylark

I looked down at my aunt’s shoes,
 1
stout, brown, leather, slightly cracked
 2
beneath sturdy ankles.
 3
Dark coat, buttoned, belted, hat.
 4
Sat side by side on helter skelter
 5
double decker bus.
 6
 
 
Been to speech therapy
 7
with static wooden toys
 8
all the way from the 30’s.
 9
“Now be a good boy,
 10
sit down and play.
 11
It won’t hurt.”
 12
 
 
Why couldn’t I bring my Meccano?
 13
Ship wrecked galleon
 14
washed up by the kitchen door?
 15
Cowboys from Dodge City?
 16
Drunken sailors all over the floor?
 17
 
 
In that joyless damp vestry
 18
she hadn’t the tools.
 19
Why no magic salve to coat my tongue,
 20
so words would come out right not wrong?
 21
 
 
“D…don’t want to p..play, g..go away.”
 22
 
 
“Pull yourself up by your boot straps
 23
and mend your childish ways.” Aunt snapped,
 24
loud enough for passengers to hear.
 25
My hot flush, close to tears.
 26
She spoke to most that way,
 27
demanding that they change.
 28
 
 
Bus stopped, we got off.
 29
Engine spluttered then away.
 30
“I w..want my m..mum.”
 31
Was all I could almost say.
 32

31 Mar 18


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