A Wartime Memory

The landmine fell nearby, after a long series of bombing raids on the Liverpool docks.
The house was ruined, all the windows shattered,
soot up to our ankles, no electricity,
and our budgie dead in his broken cage.

My mother sent me and my sister to get help
from the family who lived about five miles away,
not realising the trams would not be running.
We had to pick our way round smoking craters,
passing building with no fronts and watching firemen
trying to put out the fires.

The police and the ambulance men
were rescuing the wounded.
We were not questioned –
we were just two more homeless children.
It is only now, after all these years,
that I wonder about my mother’s state of mind
when she sent us off alone on such a journey

By Hazel Collinge