Teaching Aunt Gwen to Honk







Dover, September, 1940

It was scary in the air-raid shelter
listening to bombs explode and shells scream.
Dad said If you're born to be hung
you won't drown
. But what did that mean?

Great stuff! Mum glared Three blooming cheers!
If the shells don’t shriek me out, you will.
We might be grounded here for years,
with Grandma’s Nazi spit and spat,
her what she’d do to Hitler rabbit,
and these two screeching ‘Old MacDonald’
as if their lives depended on it.

Castleford, June, 1941

It was safe in Yorkshire. No more bombs
except the ones that Aunt Gwen dropped.
Piglets should be seen, not heard.
Their rowdy honkings must be stopped.
And if they honked another word
they’d end up with their pigtails chopped.

Think kindly Gwen, said Uncle Jack,
they’ll settle down – it won’t take long,
two shell-shocked babbies, far from home
and frightened – let ‘em have their song.