Saturday, 21 May 2016

Grubby faced

You were my first friend
Grubby faced cute little girl
In a gritty grey little house
Same as ours next door
Smelled of boiled cabbage 
Because we were all so poor

It wasn't a broken home
Just that one that was dirty
We were all like that then
Filthy kids in squalid homes
Empty faces and empty lives
Same families everywhere

In the twilight of my youth
We moved out of that street
Went across town to Parkside
Took the streetcar far away
From my fetid birthplace
Ma vowing never to return

Now that I am all grown up
I have that itch to return
I so want to see you again
My grubby faced little friend
'Cos I really loved you
And I do miss you so much

Image found at


  1. Sigh such a touching write. I strongly resonate with the yearning of seeing a loved one again. Beautifully penned.

    Lots of love,

  2. Yes, we might move on to better places, but the best of friends stay on in our hearts.

  3. It's all the grubby faced friends who linger - i suppose character can sometime override the smell of cabbage.. you really plunged us into this photo and time - and as always the story

  4. The sense of longing (and regret) is intense.

  5. I think as child we might value other things than when we grow up... That veneer of grubbiness hides the sweetness for adults. Lovely memories.

  6. when a place in one's heart is taken, it sure is taken

    luv today's write, Happy Sunday Robin

    much love...

  7. Very touching, Robin. I do think sometimes we wish we could relive those wonderful days again with the 'grubby faced' girls and boys of our lives. I remember a boy in I enjoyed holding his hand when we played our circle games. I wonder where he is now!

  8. love this yearning for a tender touch of childhood days...

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  10. Unfortunately, some things have not changed. There are still plenty of empty faces and empty lives in our world.

  11. I got goosebumps! There is so much bonding in our childhoods, even to the hard knocks. I've always been proud of my working class roots, so not the middle class of today.

  12. I really like the underlying sweetness and pain and nostalgia of this poem. Like you're haunted by memories and their pull. Very nice.

  13. I can see that sweet grubby faced little girl.......and the smell of cabbage so aptly describes lives of poverty.

  14. It wasn't a broken home
    Just that one that was dirty

    These lines say a lot to me about humble origins. Your tale was very well told.

  15. This is so heartfelt, poignant, sweet. I hope you find your childhood friend and let her know how much you love her. Tthis is one of my favorite of yours.

  16. So poignant and moving. Sadly, for those little ones who are not able to escape poverty, the course of their lives is often grim. The last that I heard about one of my young street pals, who lived in very impoverished family circumstances was that he was doing hard time for a robbery "gone bad". Another wonderful evocative piece of writing, Robin.

  17. Love the longing that trickles out of each line, the need to revive what once was... This pieces touches me deeply, today... for I've been thinking about home, and about lives that are no more... ♥

  18. A very touching tribute to friendship and what has been lost.

  19. I wonder what happened to my grubby faced childhood friends? I guess I'll never know. A delightful piece indeed.

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  20. sweet. And I really relate to this. Every time I am in the town where I lived as a child, I go past both houses I lived in as a 'poor' child and wonder where my old friends are now.