Colin Ian Jeffery
When I Was Young - Poem by Colin Ian Jeffery
When I was young and my soul slate-clean
I was immortal to the mind
With long hard icy winters
Freezing landscapes lasting months
Snowmen carrot nosed with eyes of coal
Kids tobogganing screaming with delight
Racing downhill on upturned milk crates.
Long bright summers full of wonder
Never seeming to end.
Tree camps hidden in the woods
Playing cowboys and Indians
Thinking girls were silly
For not liking football, frogs and mice
And wanting to play kiss chase with boys.
Sixpence pocket money on the mantelpiece
From dad for Saturday morning cinema
Where we sucked ice lollies in crowded stalls
Cheering Hop-a-long Cassidy and Roy Rogers
Booed black-hatted villains
When Sweets were rationed, gobstoppers, fizzy saucers
Bulleyes, sticky toffee, chocolate bars, all one penny.
Home in a street with no doors locked
Friendly neighbours ready to help
Bank holidays to Brighton to sit on pebble beaches
Paddling in warm sea, building sand castles
Eating fish and chips from newspapers
Chewing sticks of pink peppermint rock
Seeing the Brighton's name ran all the way through.
Cinema with family on Wednesday nights
With hot meat pie on the way home
Carried on my father's shoulders
Over the field at the back of our house
And my mother's kisses and hugs
Stories read by my father at bedtime
These were precious things when I was young.
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