Saturday, 8 February 2020

Sent upstairs

I woke with a start, I'd been dreaming
Back being that seven year old boy
So many years ago in wartime
Dad grew vegetables in the garden
We were hungry as food was rationed
Parents both at work we helped ourselves

I chewed on last crust from the bread bin
Mother worked at grocery shop in town
"Behave yourselves" she said when leaving
But that was never my brothers way
For he did eye my prize jealously
But I ate it up which made him cross

Our job was to start cooking the meal
That Mum had prepared much earlier
But we had been too busy playing
Or checking Dad's vegetable garden
Pity they were not ready to eat
That is when my brother checked the clock

Both open mouthed stared at each other
For Mum would be back home very soon
As we were supposed to light the gas
Food should be cooking when she arrived
We had eaten every scrap of food 
Delving in each corner of kitchen's realm

Onion and peas sandwich just for a start
Three last biscuits each from the tin
And cheesy breath from Dad's Camembert
Pungent not to teens untrained taste
Which improved our knowledge of food store
Part peeled green apple chucked in the waste

And so it was Ma did her head in
On seeing such an unholy mess
Worst of all was finding the poor cat
Miaowing sadly in the bread bin
Mum cried at seeing such a to do
And we were sent straight upstairs to bed

Image found at

This is a mostly true story of a memory of mine from WW2 when with both parents working two pre teens were left at home to manage with not unexpected results, we weren't fed until the next day!


  1. Oh, such a funny-sad tale. Thanks for sharing this unique story.

  2. Either a wild true story or you have quite an imagination. I was sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen when the mother got home!

  3. The WWII days seem in the far distant past, but the stories of hardships and sacrifice linger still.

  4. Mum was right to send the little miscreants to bed!

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  6. A hilarious poem,but sad also depicting the atrocities of the war.

  7. Such memories! Looking back, the sense of family will hopefully override all the pain of rationing.

  8. I've seen a lot of onion sandwiches of late. Thanks for sharing this sad/funny poem.

  9. A charmingly relatable tale, nicely told. Love all the little touches.

  10. Oh your poor mom! LOL, and I imagine you and your brother felt quite sorry for yourselves too, and possibly had to deal with a stomach ache with the strange hodgepodge of foods you put together. But you had each other during one of the most trying times in history, and that is a blessing.

  11. The misadvendtures of brothers when left alone. Probably a lesson that didn't need to be repeated. This was a wonderful reminisce. Thank you for sharing

  12. Thanks for sharing this memoir Robin
    Happy you dropped by my blog


  13. I wonder what the boys thought about (if anything) while they waited to fall sleep that night. Still, it's nice that the brothers got in trouble together. Many times that isn't the case--and nothing makes hard times harder than having to endure them alone.

  14. Bittersweet memories of those years, Robin. My life on a small Midwest farm was very different, but we both seem to hold those memories dear to our hearts.