Pepsodent Smile

Some time ago, I posted “Lambs”, about a beauty parlour for little little girls.  The girl in this piece could be a survivor of that.


Little girl, straight from 1955;

Striped summer frock, cardigan,

White shoes, bare legs, and

Elegantly coiffed.


Mother to the woman,

She will stand beside her walk-in closet,

And say, “Tah-dah!”


Or just maybe,

She is a spy in the house of convention,

Lying in wait with her Pepsodent smile.




At Five, You Can Still Play Naked

Sometimes, when I visit blogs, I find my self focusing only on the new….A shame, that,  looking back gives you a notion of where the blogger has been…not to mention there is some great stuff there.  So, I am taking a leaf from my own bock…and from time to time i will reblog some of my earlier stuff…especially stuff i reread, and do not find wanting.  This is one I wrote back about 2012, about my neighbor’s little girl; even at that time it was old news,  the events were long gone.

At Five

Gypsy Girl

In the Haunted Bookshop, in Sidney, I found a collection of  postcards depicting gypsy life in England, I think in the 1960s, certainly not any more contemporary than that.  A couple of them truly struck my fancy, particularly one of a gypsy girl, wringing out cloths by hand, in front of her cart.

On the postcard, there is a young girl;

She sits by a fire, wringing out a wet cloth.

She has long, lank blonde hair…those genes

Picked up in some forgotten somewhere,

Sometime in the long ramble of the Rom carts.

Behind her, an open-lot,

Looking like a miniature covered wagon.

She wears brightly patterned pants,

The sixties, then,

Her pants a discard, begged from a housewife.

Cool pants.  Groovy pants.

She does not need to be cool or groovy;

She needs to wring out the cloth.


In city co-ops and squats,

The pampered children of the middle class,

Dressed in flowing skirts and flowered shirts,

Dream of being gypsies.

They do not dream of being cold,

Of being told to move along,

To watch open-lots give way to lorries;

Horse power succumbing to horsepower.

They do not dream of wringing out wet cloths

On a cold morning in a country lane,

Coughing in the wood smoke,

And hoping for a breakfast,

But, as often as not,

Settling for some tea.


But, for all that,

And because I am a romantic,

I like to think she is still there,

In an open-lot, with children of her own,

Collecting, reusing, recycling, reselling

The cadged castoffs of our comfortable houses,

Wheeling and dealing, working the harvests,

Fortune-telling and horse trading at the country fairs,

And meeting at the old stopping places,

Marked with gypsy sign,

As the endless road unwinds before her.






I lived in Edmonton, Alberta, for many years.  When I was raising my daughters, we lived in an area near a ravine.  At the bottom of the hill was a park…and I use the term loosely…and what parks ‘n’ rec drones called a playground.  We called it the tot-lot.  There my daughters played with friends, as I watched.  Among the other children was a beautiful little girl named Jill.  On one terrible afternoon, one of my youngest’s friends called and said “Jill’s dead.”  She had apparently died of an aneurysm.  She was, I think, around nine or ten.  One of those moments which comes back to haunt you.   This one is in her memory.  Tot

Thumb Print Scone

Ah, the muse!  There I was, lazing over a coffee, and she sideswiped me.  A small girl holding most of a thumb print scone…a nibble already ingested…several crumbs clung desperately to her lips.  It was her!  My muse! and once again, in a most unexpected, altho always welcome, guise.

                         Thumb Print Scone

The little girl told me,

Speaking most earnestly, that

She was sitting behind me, well,

Not exactly behind me,

First, her mother

And then her.

And I had to agree,

Seeing that it was, indeed,



And since she

Had told me a Truth,

And it was capital ‘T’

Truth, for her,

I felt duty bound

To return the compliment.

I told her to stick her thumb into the jam

In the middle of her thumb print scone,

And lick it,

Her thumb, that is.

I told her that’s why they are called

Thumb print scones.

So, she did,

And she was satisfied.


Her mother too

Felt pleased.

She had always wondered why

They were called that.



I, too

Can dispense wisdom.