Walton-on-Naze, 1957

We hardly noticed the sea
as we sold ice cream, pots of tea
to the tourists, stuffing pound notes
into our apron pockets.

André, newly arrived from Hungary
slipped into his role as capitalist
in charge of a beach kiosk,
watching us like the KGB.

Occasionally, we thrust our hands
into the depths of the freezer,
mutilated a choc-ice or two
for immediate consumption.

In the evenings, young US airmen
enjoyed the cold war, drank beer,
fondled the local amenities.
We learned a lot.

On the pier, slot machines
chattered like machine guns,
a thousand miles from Budapest.

2 thoughts on “Walton-on-Naze, 1957

  1. Sarah Dolan

    I enjoyed reading this Martin – didn’t spot any rhyming until I looked back at it – I can really hear your voice when I read this – I particularly like your choice of verbs

  2. Robbie Burton

    Love ‘the capitalist in charge of a beach kiosk’. Great humour with dark undertones. I can’t help but feel that the final stanza should move further up the poem so that ends with ‘WE learned a lot’. Of course, that would bugger up your form. But hey…
    ‘fondled the local amenities’ – great!

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