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.