She’s Going in an Office like her Daddy

My father was a clerk

In a small steelworks

There was only the manager and him there

Until the manager’s son came home

From University

And then he was there too

A bit of a spare part

As they say

All he’d do, he’d go to the library

Over the road

Come back with a big pile of books

Sit with his feet up on the desk

Reading them

I thought I could do that

 

When I was very small

My mother walked me to the library

A mile and a half each way

And uphill home

One time I said why don’t we take a tram

For the fun of it

But she was angry and sad

She said no, we’re walking

 

When I was twelve, thirteen

And the manager was away

My father would take me into work

I’d sit and play

On the beautiful big old black

Imperial typewriter

I remember

Being taken into the forge

With the hammers banging away,

Seeing the horses,

Writing just whatever I wanted

 

Twenty two years a stockbroker’s typist

For love of that old Imperial.

And because one time I asked

To take a tram home from the library

But mother hadn’t had the two pence for it,

Not the penny ha’penny for herself

Nor the half penny for me.

 

Eleanor Brown 2015