by Patricia Preece, Preston
Over the backyard wall
Lace curtains twitched and turned
Lovers would hide in corners
Whilst rubbish in old middens burned.
Boys would climb on lavvy tops
Pretending their ship was at sea
They’d imagine being a captain looking out on deck
But all they saw was buckets, mops, and dog wee.
Washing hung out on lines
With overalls worn from mill
Those whitewashed walls were flaked and grim
And cats would roam on window sills.
Over the back yard wall
Was not a lovely sight
Old settees worn and torn
Would surface there in the night.
Yet to kids all this was magic
Their imagination would run wild
Old bottles of pop were spy glasses
And some were bottles of mild.
Old prams were thrown against the walls
For lads to claim the wheels
Flat wagons were what they had in mind
It was like the cat that got the cream.
Rats and mice would have a ball
With screwed-up old chip bags
Rusty blowers full of holes
Discarded on the flags.