The Treat

Mother was raised in the depression years
and then the war
she knew hunger

Groceries bought on tick
begging the man for a single cigarette to appease her Father
who had nine young ones to feed
each sent out to work the day they could leave school

Mother would raise herself up
“save the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves”
clear the debts before considering luxuries

I was her late baby, her last baby
after me she could go back to work
house paid for
small deposits in her bank account

Old habits die hard

We had biscuits, sure, but not those that were chocolate covered
if she baked – for visitors you understand – there might be melted chocolate left over
to smear on a few from the packet she kept for youngsters
a treat

when my new friends called round that afternoon
it was those I offered
how they laughed
“You won’t catch us out with your laxative chocolate”
I had no idea such a thing existed.

2 thoughts on “The Treat

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