Posted by: Ron DuBour | September 17, 2019

Daily missive for Tuesday the 17th of September.~by Peter Forster


 

 

Daily missive for Tuesday the 17th of September.

Patricia walked in orthopaedic shoes
And leg braces
She had chilblains
At least that is what it seemed to me
I never saw her stand in front of a fire.
Belatedly
Thanks to Jonas Salk
We all had polio shots
Lined up along one wall
Of the old school hall
It is long gone
Tommy Scott fainted
Whilst we waited
We were all scared of TB
Lockjaw was the first sign
Of rabies
Whooping cough
Took away little babies
We were told
Never eat gum from the floor
But we all shared a bottle
Jenny Thompson died at sixteen
Some kind of cancer
We could hear her scream
From across the street
She was a great skater
In winter
When ice covered the road
She would soar
Ice dancing she said
Before she was dead
We could do anything
Until bedtime
Before Horlicks, Ovaltine
Or a backhander
Put out the lights
The pit siren
Was a wake up call
To us all
Worse if you had loved ones
On the back shift
I lost a Grandad to a fall
Another one to black lung
My Mum’s dad
Never got to hear
His praises sung
For trying to save a friend
It was no compensation
My grandma took in
Other people’s washing
Scrubbed and whitewashed steps
To make ends meet
Ma’ sang for her supper
I can hear her now
‘We have never had it so good’
Was a catch phrase then
When I was ten
So many of my friends
Have fallen
In the intervening years
If I grieved them all
I would have drowned in tears
But here I am
Still going strong
As George Best said
With a long blond honey
And paper money
Strewn over the bed
‘Where did it all go wrong?’


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