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Sunday, 13 March 2011

Adults Only!

Grown-ups got up to things each Christmastide.
Long after we were fast asleep, they came -
strange relatives whom we had never met,
and what they did, they did in our front room!

Next morning we would find them on the floor,
out for the count and snoring through the fug.
It took a war to lay their secrets bare:
those who had puzzled us, no longer came,

and I was getting older all the time,
so grown-up thinking was for things to change,
and they invited me to join their gang -
a rite of passage as I see it now.

Ten round the table, ten o'clock. In comes
Granddad with some toy like a roulette wheel.
On the wheel are images of horses,
all varying in size. He who was big

enough to hog the rim, would hog the chances.
We played with pennies or with coloured chips.
(Before I joined, I think they played for more.)
Beside the wheel a board laid out the odds.

On this we placed our bets. It was quite rare
for one of us to win or lose a lot
but that had happened once - before granddad
engaged a "letterer" to change the odds.

14 comments:

Jim Murdoch said...

You're going to have to explain the "letterer" for me I'm afraid.

120 Socks said...

ah yes, the interesting world of adults! The combination of not knowing and imagination is a wonderful thing, but sounds like this time the adults had good imagination all on their own.

Dave King said...

Jim
With pleasure Jim: my granddad's term for a sign writer.

120 Socks
If my imagination was anywhere close to accurate, yes.

TechnoBabe said...

Adult parties must have been a blast. I smile at your description of the rite of passage. Do you still play?

totomai said...

somewhat a tradition of sort. sounds very interesting

Adrian L. said...

Like always very good Dave!

Carl said...

Wonderful! I enjoyed it totally and it conjured the sounds of my parents summer cocktail parties with sounds coming in my window as the sun went down. I let the sounds drift around my room and I dreamed of being adult.

Helen said...

I remember when I was allowed to play canasta with the grown-ups ~ I felt over the moon mature!!!

Lolamouse said...

The world of adults always seemed more interesting to me when I was a child! I have nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award. Please visit http://lolamousedroppings.blogspot.com/2011/03/you-like-me-you-really-like-me.html if you would like to claim it. Congratulations and I love your writing!

Kass said...

Adults are magical until you become one.

Nice poem.

Jingle Poetry said...

bravo,


you make us think, thanks ..

Dave King said...

TechnoBabe
Sadly, no. None of them left now - except me!

totomai
Hi and very welcome you are to the blog. Thanks for visiting and for commenting.

Adrian
Good to have your comment. Thanks.

Carl
Yes, I can relate to that. Two seperate worlds - but not entirely separated!

Helen
Yes, a tremendous lift to the old ego! That's how it was for me.

Lolamouse
Many thanks for your support. Will certainly do so!

Kass
Exactly - and so is their world, un til you enter it.

Jingle Poetry
Thanks for another touching comment.

Isabel Doyle said...

One Christmas years ago, my Dad revealed an ancient skill as a bingo caller to the great joy of my children. We had to draw up our own cards, letters and the like. All the poetry of the old number calling still sings in my ears.
Your poem reminded me of that slow wet week. Thanks.

Dave King said...

Isabel
That does sound like it was a lot of fun!