SUMMER WITH MARGARET by Barry Tebb
When my mam had to go
Up north to look after gran,
Margaret’s mam said I could
Stop with them; while they were
Sorting it out Margaret looked
Away, pretending to go all shy
But there was a gleam in her eye,
Anyway it was the six weeks’
Holiday and six weeks with
Margaret night and day was a
Sun and blue sky heaven to my
Ten-year old heart.. the hot
Pavements we sat on telling stories,
The bin-yards we played catch-and-
Kiss in, the wagons with wheels
Higher than our heads we hid
Behind, the river bank we chased
Along, the green railings round
The locked petrol pumps you
Somersaulted over, your dress
Above your head, your navy
Blue knickers in full view.
Your mam said, "You two needn’t
Think you’re keeping me awake
All night with your stories,
I’ve put you together in the attic!"
There was an enormous double-bed
With a carved wooden head-board
And a counter-pane in green with
Tassels in between and a huge
White bolster. My mam would have
Had a fit but she was off on
The train to Durham City and even
Margaret herself was a bit surprised
At her mam being so easy going
But that was her mam all over.
There was a tiny skylight
With just enough light to see by,
A huge mahogany chest of drawers
And Margaret and me. I’d never
Undressed in front of a girl
Before and Margaret said, "Me mam
’Ad no business mekin’ us share"
And went a bit red as she pulled
Her dress over her head, firmly
Pushing teddy to the middle
Of the bed.
We could hear Margaret’s
Mam downstairs getting grandad’s
Supper, the smell of steak and
Chips rising. Margaret said,
"You can kiss me good-night
If you like" and I liked and
Kissed her then suddenly she
Asked "Do you know what they
Do in bed? You know what I mean!"
But I said I didn’t really.
She pulled her vest up
And her knickers down,
"All right you’ve seen
Everything now!" deftly
Donning a white nightdress
With a border of flowers
On the collar
"The man puts it inside
The woman," I said, going red.
She replied, "I’ve never let
Anyone see me in the nude before.
I didn't think I’d dare but with
You, I knew it’d be different,
You’d never try anything on."
In the middle of the night
The cats in the binyard woke us,
The whole house silent, we
Were very close, her face
Was next to mine.
She put her finger to her lips,
"Swear you’ll never tell!"
I swore and touched her where
She put my hand:
"One day well get married
And do it for real."