Frances – a poem

Silk Cut fags and lavender soap
Max Factor face powder, thickly applied
Stories of wartime rationing,
peppered liberally with a side of lies

Trinkets stuffed in a drawers,
forgotten gifts of love
Untangled, just for play
My childhood self, easily pleased

Two bathrooms, there’s posh
Izal loo paper; makeshift kazoo’s
A proper pantry and industrial packets
Tom & Jerry stickers on the twin tub

Me, 8 years old, and buying fags by the carton
from the offy to keep her supplies in check
Sneaky sweets bought with the change
A payment in kind for chores delivered

Open heart surgery; more attacks than Hiroshima
Bungalow living, and ghosts in the hallway.
Library room stuffed with books never read
Strange noises heard as I lie on the Z-bed

Swirly patterned carpets, in brown and orange
Fake Rococo wardrobes, gold paint detail by my Mum
Cigarettes on the go in every room
Smog hanging, worse than LA at dawn

Field opposite full of horses, fed peelings and waste,
A childhood duty, I was terrified.
Pothole road unadopted, just like kids
Bypass views of cars whizzing by

Red Mini clubman that went like the clappers
Moving to Scotland just for kicks
Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be….
Blackpool care home, depressing as sin

Three weddings, but only one real marriage
Brandy and pills cocktail,
and false phone conversations from afar
Emergency dashes and lifts from the station

Smart red suit with red velvet collar
Promises made, and duly unkept.
Green glass ornaments with white painted snowdrops
Arabesque Denby, Puffin duvets, Staying over for weeks

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