Wartime Memory List

Never, never, forget to take it with you,
horrid, smelly, rubber gas mask.

Brown paper strips,
stuck in patterns on windows.
Better protection than lace curtains.

Blackout curtains, come first,
before you put on the light.

Blood curdling siren
Announcing an air raid.

Dad, and neighbours, out in the street.
Practising to use a stirrup pump.

Buckets of water, buckets of sand,
kept at the ready, in case of a raid.

Sheltering in the cellar,
where did my mother get the cocoa?

Oranges, only a memory,
can’t waste ship space, carrying fruit.

Three weeks longing for sweets.
One month’s ration gone in a week.

Coupons for food, enough to live on.
Coupons for clothes, have to mend and make do.