Aren’t you happy mum?

Nineteen ninety five. We did not know it was the last VE Day that mum would see. There was a party in the street. Mum was indoors crying.

Aren’t you happy mum? We won. That’s why we’re celebrating. We won, we won and you were there. It’s party time.

Don’t celebrate for me. It was not “fun”. A day of sad relief perhaps. It took my cousin, my uncle, your grandad for six years, his health for the rest of his life and what should have been my youth.

Twenty five years on and I see the celebrations on tv and remember mum and the others and I wonder.

Washing up

The ex-boxer looked down at his red thick-jointed hands emerging from the soapy water. So it had come to this. He shook his head, the spirit rising in his chest again. The door opened. “Hurry up Grandad, we want to go to the park!” He smiled and wiped his hands.