Special air, dad said -- and mum was coming, too. Magic stuff to make me well -- and Dr Shellswell would be there. I saw the place at once: the shop had barley sugar walls and gold shelves stocked with wanda and spells and crystal balls and jars of coloured air. Behind the counter, Dr Shellswell, tall in wizard's hat, was opening his bag of tricks: stethoscope, pink medicine, some pills -- and best of all, the book of British Empire Stamps he always brought to swap with me. A white bus with a red cross took us to the magic shop for us to buy the air. Then wafted on a magic carpet through a cave called A and E where silver kettles belching steam were filled with knives and kinds of things I'd never seen before. I made it crystal-clear, I thought: two armies I had left at home teetering on the brink of war (one was bunkered in my bed)-- of course I could not stay to tea! It was the sparkling Christmas tree I think that changed my mind -- also that Santa would be there that night. In the morning, true as true, a Snow White doll and a Noah's Ark. Across from me, a terrorist, a sleeper 'till the time was right, who'd had some heavy armour brought by Santa in the night. He'd send his mighty tanks, he said, to kill or capture my Snow White.
This is another rewrite of an old poem (partly because I'm on a mission to make some that are important to me somewhat leaner and meaner) but also, in this case, rewritten in acceptance of Victoria C Slotto's invitation to submit poems based on early childhood memories for this week's Meeting the Bar at dVerse Poets
These are actually my first significant memories. I would have been five. It was just before the outbreak of war. Interestingly, what I imagined has stayed more vivid than the reality of how things were and what happened. (This leaves some room for manoeuvre when writing, as - for instance - I had imagined several scenarios for "going to this magic place to get the air".)