anniversary

We have been together for longer than we haven’t.

Do you remember that day, that beer in the village,

that evening, that night?

Do you remember? I do.

And yes, life has changed,

life has definitely changed us,

life has of course green splintered and mended,

yes to all of those things, yes of course.

But still when I see you,

my eyes open or closed tight,

still when I see you I remember that evening,

the evening when the shadows were gone.

Tea dance time

Sid faded away in tea dance time
slow
slow
then too soon
quick quick.

Foxtrot Oscar he used to say
when his knees would not lift him
and his eyes would sparkle.

Through the window
we would watch his face
and see the smile
as his left foot tapped out the rhythm.

One two three
one two three
one
and then no more.

Bet still held his hand
as she always had
from their very first dance with the carpets rolled back
and the piano in the corner.

One two three
she said.
One two three
again.
One.

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.