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I come from a country poor from war
Uniforms and gas masks gathering dust in the attic
Ten hidden clips of brass bullets I unwisely took a hammer to,
The Glorious Gloucesters, Dien Bien Phu,and all the military magic.
Trains that smoked and rattled full of uniformed men smoking Woodbines,
All stations to Crewe and anywhere else.
Oil on the beach from long drowned ships.
My shirts made from parachute silk were fine
But Oh! those home knitted swim trunks
Why did she make me wear them?
We lived around the radio or ‘wireless’
A thing containing mysterious glass bulbs that glowed
But rewarded experimental dial turning with;
Radio Moscow, Hilversham, Cairo, Delhi, and Forces Favourites,
Wilfred Pickles with Mabel at the table-
’Give him the money Barney!’
Workers Playtime, Mrs. Dales Diary and the Housewives Choice.
How long was the week between episodes of
‘Journey into Space’ and ‘Dick Barton (Special Agent)’
I come from a safer place… maybe ,
We picked up hitchhikers, mostly military men,
And brought them home sometimes for bread and jam,
What wonderful illnesses I enjoyed;
Scarlet fever 3 weeks off at home
Old doctor Drake reclining on my bed
And showing me how to hypnotise
And after taking sherry with my Mum.
I come from a family of numbers now long gone;
Gentle Aunt Jenny who worked an Ack-Ack gun
And loved my father’s brother a sky pilot
Till he died in his plane in the grey north sea- but loved him still,
Uncle Emlyn giant Geordie policeman from the Tyne
He liked a beer or two and following the horses,
Aunt Marion a teacher, kind and keen with knowledge,
Uncle Seth the Grenadier with bearskin and medals,
A scar on his head from the Normandy beaches
Who then became a postman Bishop Auckland,
Uncle Stan, not a real uncle but with a big car,
Who sent us a ten shilling note every Christmas.
And Verner and Eva our two German friends
Who lived in our house, I never knew why,
But told me that actually
Being a Jew was OK.