Peace in his time

Crashes and bangs and shattering glass,
it’s cold and I’m cramped, can’t see through the dark.
Mummy, where are you? We’re all safe in here;
away from the blood and the sadness, the tears.
Arthur and Kitty and Grace they’re all in,
huddling around in our armour of tin.
My heart beats quicker than normal I think,
80 a minute, Grace gives me a drink.
My teeth, how they chatter against the cold straw
as I worry about you, wherever you are.
When suddenly the door is flung open then closed,
you’re here plus a bundle of small fingers and toes.
The bundle is screaming and passed on to Grace
whilst you smile and laugh at my poor confused face.
“Say hello to your little brother Alan,” she smiles
as I stare in surprise at the newly born child.
This explains, I suppose, why you were looking so fat
and no bombs fell on East Ham again after that.

Based on a true story, told to me by my grandad, Peter Robb, about a night in the air raid shelter when he met his brother Alan for the first time, aged 8.


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