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YoungPoet

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Wednesday 9 February 2011: And they called it puppy love

Afternoon Tease

Now we're sitting round the table,
now there's no chance of escape,
my Uncle Ken
(the worst of men)
will turn to me and say,
'What's her name, then?'

Even though I know
he's going to say it
(he says it every time he
and Auntie Brenda come to tea)
I'm always unprepared.

'What's her name then?'

I'd like to come straight out with
'Her name's Ann'
but I go as pink as the leftover radishes,
feel as hot as the teapot
and choke on my trifle.

'Her name's Ann,' I mumble.
(My ears are on fire
but no one appears to notice).

Dad and Uncle Ken are discussing
yesterday's match
and Auntie Brenda
(far from slender)
is accepting another bowl
of rhubarb crumble
(with cream).

Having a meal with Uncle Ken
is an ordeal.

He makes me feel this small.

After he's gone Mum will say,
'Take no notice,
he's only teasing you.'


Copyright Bernard Young, from Double Talk, Hands up Books 2011

I've used the cover of a new poetry anthology for children (Puppy Poems, published by Macmillan, 2011) plus the heart from yesterday. The book contains a previously blipped poem

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