Hatton Garden Medical

I went for me medical at Hatton Garden.
I hadn’t been back for over thirty years,
since they sent me at eleven for a ‘plus’
with a load of others,
scrawling on daft, white question papers.
I didn’t have a clue what I’d done
till my granddad gave me a bag of sherbet lemons.
“Here son, for passing the exam!”

This was another exam they said, for the job they said.
so I walked up those grand semi circle steps, through cream dado moulding and majolica tiled corridors
into a tall waiting room,
where a woman slid open a glass window
told me to wait and promptly closed it again.
Bit worrying I thought, till I was called to a
long room smelling of polished wood floor
with rows of high-up metal windows.

I went to change behind a heavy green curtain .
No need. He was old, tiny and military-moustache fierce.
Listening to my chest through open shirt
he tapped my knees before snorting “O.K. you’ll do”.
And that was it, I got the job.

At work I met a rather fulsome young lass
a bit like she’d stepped out of a Ruben’s painting.
Had your medical, she said. Wasn’t it a trial,
he made me strip to pants and bra
do twenty press up’s, then bycle-legs on me back.
Yes said I, what a trial.

By Dave Sharpe