When I were a lass,
We had “nowt”, less than “nowt”.
There was never money for new clothes.
Everything I owned was “handed down,
Or “passed on”.
Shoe colours were either black or brown.
My presents were either handmade, or
Rebuilt and repainted by my mum or uncles.
Grandma said “After the war, you’ll get
Easter Eggs tied with ribbon and Bananas,
You’ll love them”.
I had no idea what she was talking about,
I had never seen them.
This man in a uniform came sometimes,
My Mum said, “It’s your Dad”.
I was sent to sleep with my cousins
At my Aunties,
So they could “go out”
When I went home again he’d gone.
Then were these things called “Air Raids”.
Mum would wake me up and carry me
Outside, and into the Air Raid Shelter.
It was dull, dark and smelly.
Full of people, talking, singing and
Smoking. No one was sleeping.
The food wasn’t good,
I did not eat a lot, not powdered egg
Or corned beef hash, it was awful.
Grandma used to soak sultanas overnight
For me to have with my jam and bread.
I didn’t know then how bad things were
Everybody in our street was the same.
When I were a lass, we had “nowt”
A whole lot of “nowt”.