A ticking clock the only sound

The staleness of an unaired room.

Brass elephants march across the mantle

Heavy curtains block the sunlight

Spotless nets add to the gloom.


Uneasy chairs, hard wooden backs,

Woolwork seats in pinkish hues

Stand to attention on a carpet

Vaguely Turkish in design

With geometric sombre shades.


A lacy mat exactly centred

On a gate-legged bamboo table

Supports an empty Chinese vase

Brought back from visits to the east

By a long-dead merchant Uncle.


The works of Charles Dickens braced

Side by side behind glass doors.

Never opened, but their presence

Adds a gloss of education

To the polish on the floors.




Warm scones from the oven, oozing butter,

A dipping finger in the mixing bowl.

Coffee always at the ready, “sorry though

It’s only instant, there’s the biscuits”.

An ever-ready smile to lift your soul.


A Grandad who just loves to feed the ducks

And has a bag of bread crusts at the ready,

Doesn’t mind a hopping, skipping grandchild

Ever asking questions, never stopping,

Until “Whoa there, my lovey, take it steady!”


Family members always welcomed,

Little time for fancy frills or dust.

The china rabbit living on the windowsill

Lost an ear from over-loving fingers,

But still he’s fondled, loved and fussed.

© Gillian Peall



2 thoughts on “TWO LIVES

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