. i do not remember the war .

what to tell you?

as snow falls, small birds shelter

i look at the photographs at my table, the second hand ticks round

should I speak of childhood

or of my family some gone now, while others grow

to write of my interests, my collections

to start

at the beginning

they tell me i was born at home on a sunday

early days

raining days, the pram hood smelled. gabardine.

blue white edging patterned greek style.

sound of water falling, puddled apron,

bread in damp paper, taste of crust corner.

springy, bouncing down green road, my brother

weighting. the other end.

a blanket to pick fluff


straps to bind me.

later came other fragments, the whisper of sausages for tea, the promise of marmite,

fragile gas mantles to replace night time candles.

my brothers

three brothers, two born before the war, one born after

i do not remember the war, also born after

the youngest. we all lived together until my father left: I was four &

remember his leaving; he took the radio , a large thing

he carried it high on his shoulder like a trophy

dad came back once, i saw him through the window bringing a doll for me

mother gave it to the girl next door.

early days

as I write this simply, I am aware of that which is remaining unsaid

i feel I was a quiet thing, bit of a mouse really. i am stronger now

since those times I find I have both a half brother and sister, yet do not know them

i was mostly happy, unaware of the undercurrents in life

i enjoyed being alone and still do

two of my brothers were kind, although I did not understand some of their behaviours

with hindsight and education I may do so

at seven, I went to live with the first foster parent.

this changed everything a while. the first of several care situations.

mother was ill

listen to what i do not tell

listen to what i do not tell


my brothers

did i tell you

that i walked down the road he lived

some time with his sister

hoping to be seen, recognised & cared for.

my father


said he was there if i needed him.

he was not.


small birds shelter.

small birds get broken to bits.