by Adrienne Tinn
I remember the tins of toffees,
the nuts and the tangerine,
the jigsaw puzzles, books and doll,
all part of the Christmas scene.
Icy floors and frozen windows;
cousins who came to share
midnight feasts with cakes and Smarties
set on the bedclothes there.
No central heating or computers,
tele or video games –
Meccano sets and John Bull printing
to eagerly stamp our names.
Post office money, the cardboard coins
in silver to look like real;
the glass-jarred sweetshops with tiny sweets,
enough though to make a meal.
Skittles awaiting with wooden ball
attached to its post with string;
bagatelle board with marker nails
and its hardy metal spring.
Ludo, Lotto and games of draughts
and Chinese Chequers abound,
arguments, laughter, human voices,
no harsh electronic sound.
Those were the days the family gathered.
Card games were played by all.
Now it’s the Game-boy and video
or perhaps the computer’s call.
Flown away are the tins of toffees,
the nuts and the tangerine
lost in a haze of nostalgia
for Christmases that have been.