‘This is the Victor Ice Cream Show,
We’re on the air from 2KO.
We’re brought to you by Victor,
The name you know so well;
You eat the bloody packet
And you chuck the rest to Hell.’
Rationing ended and in 1950 consumers were born.
I was nine at the time, shifty and nervous, a pawn
to the big girls’ queens: I did what I was told.
‘We’re taking you to the show at 2KO.’
O.K. I ate my ice-cream—so cold it broke the spoons—
sat in stunned silence at Uncle Rex’s jokes,
and sang along with Auntie Hazel’s transparent tunes.
‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’ and ‘Peter Cottontail’
we croaked, craning our necks as male and female
tried to see who was where: I liked the blonde
from Berner Street, in sixth class, one of the elite;
and when I’d dare I’d wander past her place
wondering what magic was locked fast
within those walls: to find the gateway through a pretty face.
Even through the door, I find the face is what I remember.
You, blue eyes dilated, black cores of surrender
stare up at me as I enter at the gate, yet
the path obstinately remains my own; always I come home.
There is no liquid centre to the chocolate, the lamb lacks mint—
hasty consumer of the party’s prizes, now my tongue is numb
with cold, and your kisses have a taste of paper and of print.
© Julian Croft