TEA BEFORE ONE WEDNESDAY 1956 | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Poem - Children Bookmark and Share



Janice's gran

had ask me to tea

after school.


I was sitting

in the sitting room,

(Janice had gone

to the loo).


You're Janice's best friend,

her gran said,

and I don't mind her

being with you

because you

are a good boy,

and I know your mother

would not let you

run wild or do silly things

like some children

around here,

and she always has you

dressed in clean clothes,

and feeds you well,

and because I am

responsible for Janice,

and need to know

she is in good company,

and not go on bomb sites

or knock on doors

and run away

or throw stones

through windows

of deserted houses

or take coal

from the coal wharf,

and when she is with you

I know she'd not

do those things.


I sat there listening to her,

waiting for tea to begin,

hoping there would be

good cake, and maybe

nice sandwiches

and maybe(although

I doubted it) coke or Tizer,

and hoped Janice

would not mention

going on the bomb site

in Draper Road

where we climbed

into an upstairs room

(hole in the roof),

and it smelt of piss

and dampness,

but we looked around still,

and hoped she'd

not mention us

(me mainly)

catapulting those window out

of that bombed out house

on the bomb site

behind the cinema.


Her gran was still talking,

and I smiled when she stopped,

and she said,

now some tea,

and Janice appeared back,

and sat next to me,

and smiled at me,

and her gran said,

I've just been telling Benny

about you, and what

you're not to do,

and I think Benny

is a very good boy

not getting you into trouble

on bomb sites or stone throwing

and things.


I sat with bated breath,

and Janice said,

yes he is good like that,

but sometimes we...

but her gran had gone

into the kitchen

to get the tea,

and it was just us

sitting there,

and I shook my finger

and said,

say nothing about the things

we've done less or more,

or she'll tan

your backside

as she did before.

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