May 8, 2020, by Brigitte Nerlich
VE Day – a poem by Maureen Sutton
I didn’t want to write a post today, as I had already posted one earlier in the week. But then, by chance Maureen Sutton sent me a poem that made me think and which she has allowed me to publish here. I have come to know about Maureen’s poetry through my earlier post on pandemic poetry. She has written some very evocative poems about our lockdown experience in her wonderful Lincolnshire dialect.
Victory Europe 75 Years on
Commemorations won’t be as planned
Covid 19 has enforced a safe distance
between us: no street parties, dances,
mass gatherings. Celebrations will be led
by the media: radio, television, on-line, while
victims of Corona Virus lay dying without loved
ones to hold their hand; as did thousands of men
on the battlefield seventy-five years ago.
Did young men from air, sea and field cry out
to mothers, wives, girlfriends?
Had they the breath to do so, or like Corona victims,
how many died of suffocation?
For many V.E. Day will remain a time to recall victory
and the Brexitters will forget; just for today
that they have turned their back on Europe.
And here is her poem on the lockdown, which you will enjoy, I am sure
Well maate, I’ve gotten a craw to pick wi Boris, he’s putten me under
‘ouse arrest, an’ I dossent like it, I ain’t gone an’ done owt wrong
An’ now I’ve got to stay at ‘ome for weeks on end.
It ain’t no good werriting so I’ll just have to find summats
To keep me sen busy or I’ll go crazed. Already I’m mazzeled
About what I’m going to do.
Soa, today it’s step-ladder job to sort out top cupboard:
Tin of red salmon, five years out-of-date, tin of prunes, six-year ode,
I’d best get rid on ‘em, afore I poison mesen. Jars of jam can stay.
There’s row of pickled onions, a mucky brown, they’ve ‘ad it.
I put salmon out for next-door cat, it just turned its nose up
Looking moithered, the damn chelp on it, best salmon, good job it’s
Not ‘sun both side of the ‘edge day’ it would be crawling wi mawks!
I’m not going out for me morning paper and five days later I’m
Wishing I’d not gotten rid of them there prunes, but I dossent
Care now ‘cause neighbour’s chucked sticks of rhubarb ovver fence
The one that Storm Ceria and Dennis blew down, three times in all,
Just after I’d payed to have damn thing painted.
‘ave changed the beds an’ now I can’t put cover back on King-size
Mattress, can’t lift the B on me own, I’m about arrad, so I’ll chuck dust-sheet on it.
Well I reckon that this ‘ere virus is like the Blitz wi out the bombs, at least we’ve
Not gotten Hitler keeping us in the ‘ouse. Reckon we’d best learn semaphores
For them who ain’t gotten a computer, happen we might bring back Morse-code
A lot on us ode uns remember it.
Craw is an argument/ disagreement, werriting is worrying, moithered is puzzled, chelp is cheek, ‘sun both side of the ‘edge day’ means it’s a hot sunny day, mawks are maggots.
Image: 1940s clothing that Maureen has used as ‘bunting’