Dan Bond

Rookie (Edinburgh)

Sweeties - Poem by Dan Bond

The 60s, the early years before Stoned, Kinked Beatles teetered towards the vertical face of stardom.

The hard edge of the portcullised Thruppenny Bit pressed to my leg through a thin pocket, in the freezing Scottish wind.

It reminds me of my urgent need for Sweeties.

Before the Snickering spectre of Kit Kat crisp confection, there had not been a break in the boiled sweet bonanza, the thought of which, if not the taste, carried children through two world wars.

The only answer to my near medical emergency was a visit to the sweet smelling, sugar coated stillness of the confectionery cathedral.

Rising up in the air, neat doilied shelves displayed serried ranks of specimen jars, from Sweet Lips to Bulls Eyes, the promise of pleasure beyond the imagining of a seven-year-old boy.

The ache of choice leads to the open-mouthed concentration of a chorister, as each jar and label is scrutinised.

Frenetic fingers, pocketed to hide frustration fondle the reassuringly heavy coin that lies alone amongst childish detritus.

Once selected the hard choice is revealed as the sweeties clatter into the chrome scoop of the scales.

With all the precision of an apothecary, the shopkeeper administers the prescription, ounce by ounce into the waiting pocket sized paper bag.

Unfortunately young minds dance from this to that and moments are missed, ideas forgotten and good things lost.

The half eaten bag subjected to dampness and compression becomes a pocket fossil, found at a later date by a relic hunting parent who happens across their sons petrified pleasure.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 12, 2012

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