Everyone helped on Christmas eve, the children in the living room
trusted to make neat crosses on sprouts bottoms,
peel potatoes and prod the hot chestnuts
We’d laugh at my mother’s story of corn beef roast during the war.
Now a few years on it was a roast chicken killed by Grandma
out in the garden and hung in the scullery for two days
Grandpa staggered up the hill from the underground in the snow at eight
with apples, pears and nuts from our greengrocers in Goodge Street,
gifts from fellow shop keepers, glace fruits being our absolute favourite
Grandmother insisted all through the war there would be no black market;
her Methodist her beliefs could not sanction anything dishonourable.
“Pity”, said Uncle Jack in later years, “we could have had butter, eggs,
from ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’
Sometimes one ceases to like some of ones own poems but not this one, it brings back such happy memories. I recently read it at Troubadour in London .