This poem is taken from Stand 218, 16(2) May - June 2018.

E.E. Jones Three Poems
Civil Defence

From the memoir of Fireman Stephen Spender

So there I was cleaning toilets
For England – least I could do –
And the lads: decent, not a bad crew –
Nothing like school (shudder)
Or Oxford. The working classes
Don't seem to mind so much
If one is a bit odd – probably
Dropped on the head, done time,
Or down on the luck.
They would call one ‘sir’,
Not ‘comrade’, which was a shame –
And as for the wireless –
(I’d have flushed the thing
If I could) – nothing to do all day
But listen to The Light Programme
And wait for the sky to fall
(Sometimes you wished it would).
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