My saving’s pot, tobacco jar,
Greek frieze surround, without a lid,
dark corner shelf, unknown to girls,
where I secreted pennies earned,
or sixpences at Christmas time.
As sisters, Dad neared party time
I emptied it, gave some to Mum,
and she would buy the birthday gift,
as I was busy, climbing trees.
As Guy Fawkes loomed - for that her day
and shops displayed their firework stock,
I knew the choice was mine alone
and from the range of rockets, Pains,
feared jumping jacks and Catherine wheels,
the sparklers, stardust, golden rain,
I had to find a simple thing.
No diamond fire or flaming ring,
nor lipstick pick from carmine, pink,
but varnished wood, a hairclip, brooch,
in modest box with ribbon string.
But that year, nineteen sixty four,
scrambling at night for coin store
I tripped, smashed treasure on the floor;
so mother’s prize was tube of glue
to fix that jar, her father’s love,
the one, Greek frieze about the rim.
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