Hilda went on to raise eleven children between the wars but still somehow found moments to read and write her own poems.
On The Gloucester Road
She liked finery, did your
Nan, and who could blame ‘er?
All those books in the master’s library
leather-bound, embossed with gold
and ‘er grown up with nothing?
Small wonder she took to borrowing
sliding t’others along the shelves to ‘ide the gap.
Then there were the times she’d climb through the window
in ‘er mistress’s best dress and blue silk drawers.
Once I saw her in a fox fur stole
draped over the arm of an army officer.
Good evening, Kate, she says to me, and how are you?
‘Er smile as sweeping as the Zodiac
and not a stitch of ‘er own clothing on ‘er back.
© Deborah Harvey 2014
This poem is part of a sequence of three published in my collection, Map Reading For Beginners. It and my first collection, Communion, are available from the Indigo Dreams website and usual outlets.
My new collection of poetry, Breadcrumbs, will be published this spring, again by Indigo Dreams Publishing.