“It’s only me”

Steeped in nostalgia, memories of my childhood, living in the corner shop with my grandma, came flooding back for today’s Napowrimo challenge. 

Day 3 Prompt: Write an elegy – a poem that mourns or honors someone dead or something gone by. And I’d like to ask you to center the elegy on an unusual fact about the person or thing being mourned.

My response: 

“Only me”

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The bell over the shop door

Beckoned grandma to the shop floor              

To serve the customer’s needs          

All manner of groceries        

Mum and I used the shop door          

And to let my grandma know,            

We would so casually shout    

“It’s only me”                          

As we came in and went out

And grandma would do the same      

When she left and when she came    

“It’s only me” her voice sang                                           

As the tinkling shop bell rang              

She was a force of nature

Soul of the working class town          

Dressed daily in a ‘pinny’  

Sat ‘day night she wore a gown             

          

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Layers of ‘tutty’ applied        

Hair liberally sprayed 

Brightest lipstick put on        

Perfume added to the haze

Squeezed painfully into heels             

She’d dance at the social club            

Sunday found her on her knees          

Every inch of the shop she’d scrub

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The Sabbath was a bleach day           

Fumes hung heavy in the air

She sang as she worked until dusk     

Without worry, without cares            

Her ageing knees must have hurt      

The skin on her raw hands burnt                       

Without complaint she scrubbed on 

‘Til ‘a proper job’ was done 

With bags of groceries sold 

A tale or prophecy told                        

Details dutifully shared         

Corner shop views fully aired            

 

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If sick, discuss your symptoms

Compare, contrast prescriptions                      

If someone’s in need of help              

Just ring the corner shop bell              

Knowledge shared, neighbours cared              

Folk looked after each other              

Bedrock of this old mill town              

Grandma; everyone’s mother         

   

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Now passed I still hear her sing          

The now distant shop bell ring           

If I’m sure of just one thing

She ne’er was, never will be 

“Only me”


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4 thoughts on ““It’s only me”

  1. Brings back memories of corner shops. Excellent.

    Happy times will always last
    Fond memories of people from the past

    Images flood back with closed eyes
    Fun & laughter, Christmas & mince pies

    The seasons pass one by one
    Each year new life has just begun

    The clock it moves one way round
    One day we’ll not be found

    Liked by 1 person

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