This poem is not actually about lockdown, but written during lockdown after watching a video by Billy Collins… I am pretentiously channelling Walt Whitman.
I too sat in Noble’s barber shop
with my siblings for a haircut
high up on the swivel chair
although my hair has now turned grey
I recall the shape of my cut to this day
the nape of my neck exposed
A cowlick caused the problem
my fringe could not be restrained
but the feel of clippers I do not regret
I drank milkshakes in the Tea Kiosk
through many a paper straw
often so quickly, my head was sore
I queued at the War Memorial
for the Saturday Matinee on sunny
days but my friends were not allowed
I was called out of class
to the Murder House mid lesson
to face the consequences
Of too many toffee bars at
half time, the slow sweet decay
that I have paid for to this day
I remember Richmond Drapery
cinnamon seamless hosiery
the smell of bolts of cloth
Was it you and I who lay on the
hot asphalt by the school pool
peeing our maps of the world?
Was it you or me drinking
Cona Coffee, candles dripping
wax from empty wine bottles?
Were you there?
I climbed those blue hills with my lover
lay in those grasses upon which
the flash new subdivisions grew
Valhalla seemed grandiose for a
working class suburb, but the
new mall put paid to that
There’s a Mall my mother wrote
to me on a flimsy blue aerogramme
to my flat in Shepherds Bush
We all had our school feet measured
at Taylors at one time or another
secretly longing for patent leather
Herb was the Chemist who carefully
dispensed the avalanche of post war
Valium and sedatives to everyone
And everyone was married at one
time or another at the Church
of the Holy Trinity on the hill
Except us Catholics who of course
required a Papal dispensation
If we were wishing to deviate
I too was there each Anzac
and many after that too
In the bright light of Autumn
Where were you?
14 thoughts on “Lockdown Poetry (I was there)”
Maggie, wow that is certainly a trip down memory lane. Richmond has now exploded, our parents would believe the change.
Hello Margaret! How lovely to hear from you. XX
I remember everything Maggie! So glad you continue to put pen to paper via poetry
Love you Liz. So cool to hear from you on my blog. Thank you. Waverley Street girls forever!!XX
Isn’t that great: you write the autobio poem and up pop two who shared those very experiences! Yay for blogs, I say… And poets, of course
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Remember it all!!!And down the bottom of Queen St was Joe Hills grocery and a little draper shop next door where every year my Nana would buy us kids gloves for the winter!!!
Lovely to hear from you. And of course, Pete Simpson (George Sheridan on his bike doing deliveries!), and the Black Orchid, and Hardings Bookshop where we all ordered our comics (Archie, Phantom, Andy Pandy, and School Friend Annuals).
And of course, Paul Schipper (Liz’s Dad) doing all the Christmas windows with his fabulous artwork.
Thank you Maggie – wonderful as always, Yes, I was there for most of that too – maybe not in Richmond, but it wasn’t too dissimilar in lots of other places:) xx
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Hello Trish XXX
Have just seen this Margaret! Good and true memories. Lovely to come across you and see some other “old” names from Richmond Primary School.
How lovely to hear from you, Meg! I am in Richmond on November 17 talking about ‘Formica’ my new poetry collection at the Richmond Library… are you living in NZ – I have a feeling you might be in London? xx
Yes I live near Oxford, UK now so I’m sorry to miss hearing your new collection of poetry. I am so impressed!! Xx