The House in Highgate and Peter Pan – poem

Postwar memories from ‘The House in Highgate’ section

The House in Highgate

Peter Pan had a lot to answer for!

We were always sliding down the polished

bannisters and leaping off at the last minute

in our everlasting efforts to fly.

We spent half our lives on the stairs

creating stories about the paintings

that hung from floor to ceiling in the hall.

Listening to the chip-chip-chipping of

the wood in father’s workshop

as he made his marionettes,

the whizz and whirr of mother’s Singer

sewing seams for debutants dresses.

Real boredom had us mimicking

arguments outside auntie and uncles door.

Mother would have had a fit if she had known

as we rushed and locked ourselves in the lavatory

Auntie advanced demanding apologies.

Too late, we were balancing on the pan

leaping out of the tiny window

into the security of the garden.

How I loved that house.

Note – Autobiographical poetry is enjoying increasing popularity, so perhaps I was ahead of my time. Although many of my poems do not reflect my life at all.

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