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Food, Toys and Mock-a-Chino: Three Poems

by on 14 May 2020

Yesterday Was Another WorldKeyhole (Oliver Plumb)text

Food, Toys and Mock-a-Chino

Three Poems 

by Heather Moulson


Three Poems-love-two-love-heart-coffee-cups

Inoffensive hot drinks in the
college refectory
leaving half of it while I flirted with you
then CoffeeMate with Maxwell House
became our thing
Maxpax only to be sneered at
Nescafe Gold took us to a new level
we had truly arrived –
only we hadn’t
You betrayed me for decaffeinated
making my own coffee bitter
sinister and hollow
I spat it out at your departing
But when coffee became frothed with
milk on every high street
I embraced it again
sipping huge cups while thinking of
what might have been
You became the skinny cappuccino
The Soya milk
And I found full fat comfort



Dinnertime was rabbit stew – tiny bones
sticking out the greasy stock –
and thickness of gravy, covering
fried liver.
Lamb hearts still beating, next to
mash potatoes.
Chops and chips were a treat,
rare as blancmange, or a bottle
of R Whites.

Then, no more proper dinners at 12 o’clock –
lunch became a tin of Happy Shopper soup.
While tea diminished to Earl Grey and
currant bread, and dinner became supper.
Mince cooked after work, in a pan,
Or a slab of gammon steak next to broccoli.

Never had ‘afters’ anymore – no rice pudding
out the oven, nor tinned peaches and
A can of Pils lager and ten fags were the sweetest
of substitutes.

The first meal on wedding present plates,
was curry from Bejams.
My kid’s post school meals were sausages and
Hand-made gnocchi a dismal failure.
Traipsing along supermarket
aisles, for life-changing recipes.
Only to be ditched for Birds Eye and chips.

No more standing over hot fat, or multiple
roasting pans.
Nor the daily visit to the butchers, where
rabbits hung upside down.
I tell the children about Gran’s meals –
that was how she held the family
They look at me and laugh.



Sindy sits on her horse,
Action Man waits for her in bed.
Plastic zoo animals marry each other.
Dog-eared board games have missing
I keep the silver dog, from the Monopoly

I dream of owning felt tip pens –
the real classroom currency.
Gran sends my Teddy Bear comic
through the post.
And I’m getting a Beezer annual
for Christmas.

Why don’t you play with your Hot
Wheels, a proper toy? I say.
But he doesn’t hear me –
sitting there, transfixed by
the Playstation.
The Beano book on the floor,
stays unread.

Heather Moulson
May 2020

Photography by Dritan Alsela, Jilly Church and Brendan Silver

From → Poems

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