Dad decides to give us pocket money.
Mum decides it’s better saved. She buys tin
money boxes with painted timber panels,
crossbands of brass and a central padlock.
She holds out the chests as cash is passed
from Dad to us into the slots. Eventually,
mum spends our savings on clothes.
She pulls them out of the shopper, holds them
up to her chest: “Aren’t these great?”
Not as great as crisps, pear drops, sherbet dips,
liquorice roots, knicker knockers that can take
your eye out, cracker jack, beano comics, marbles.
Weeks pass till we realise the chests don’t lock,
and next time she finds our savings gone.
A lecture ensues on theft, but how do we steal
from ourselves. They get raided often, sit empty
on the mantle till the penny drops. Eventually
they end up in the suitcase under her bed.