I Miss Your Smile

‘Twenty-one-today’ and all that.


It’s been forty-odd years.

Same man, I think;

couple of stone,

slight stoop,

less hair,


funny eye,

gammy leg.

Not much wiser.


I remember that time:

that night in ‘The Locarno’.

‘Twenty-one-today’ and all that.


What happened to you, Big Tony?

The best scrapper down our street.

You saved my arse a few times.

Glad you were on my side


And Jenny! What went wrong?

We skinned each other’s heart.

I hope life’s been good to you;

it turned out fairly well for me.


What are you doing now, Bob?

You had me in stitches, man!

Did you ever get to India?

In that Mini Clubman?

Sorry I couldn’t go:

regretted that.


And Maggie:

our Maggie May.

So tragic in the end.

I never realised the truth.

I still picture you… so beautiful.


And Satinder Singh Sehmi (Satchmo).

Always worried about your turban.

Hated blokes staring at it.

Just ignore them.

No one will bother you,

not with all us around you,

not with Big Tony on your side.


Did you make it as a model, Debs?

“Call me, ‘Brown Sugar’,” you said.

You were certainly that, kiddo.

How famous did you get?

Was it you in that song?


Bloody great night, that one.

Never been so drunk in my life.

You must have sunk ten pints, Tony!

You were a smashing dancer, Sue Brown.

Hey Satchmo! You said you couldn’t drink.

Bob and Maggie smooching the night away.

Christopher Boyd carrying me back home.

Jonesy waffling about joining the army.

Then those two policemen appearing.

Me shouting, “Stuff the coppers!”

Tim Daly clamping my mouth.

Bob slurring, “Solly Ozifers.”

“Get him home,” they said.

Big Tony sitting on me.


Policemen laughing:

really good sports.


Satchmo singing

(bloody awful)


Jenny laughing

(girly giggles)


Debs singing



Jenny crying

(crazy girl)


Me singing



Me crying

(oh no)


I miss




© Shackleton 2023
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Super poem, brought back memories of friends from long ago, a softer kinder time.
Love the layout very imaginative and interesting, suits the poem perfectly. Sue.


An excellent poem, bringing back all kinds of my own memories. Really enjoyed the read.


And this poem is why I’ve always loved your work. Is it Mick? Distinctive style and so well-written, drawing the reader in. We all have these thoughts/memories and you put that ‘collective consciousness thing’ into words with a great rhythm. Well done!

Kim x

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