He stands where he said he would

Underneath the old clock tower

All drapes, crepes and quiff

brushed and combed

The slick black shine

Smoothed back with open palm

He lights another cigarette

Whilst his other hand

Moves a coin across the knuckles

Of his fist

He practices his Elvis smile

A curl of the lip

As he scans the crowd

Through his smoke ringed haze

He pretends to little care

But his attention to detail says it all


Then she emerges

From the pack

With her giggling friend in tow

All cherry lips

Curves curls and twirls

He quickly looks her up and down

With his practiced Elvis nonchalance

Nodding with approval at

Clothes chest and hips


‘Right then’ he says

With as much of a casual air as he muster

‘Shall we do this thing’

The same words he uses

Twenty- Seven years later

To accompany their oldest daughter

Up the aisle

Still trying to conceal

All that he feels

For the one he cares most

No cheap brag or bluster

◄ Not yet sixteen

The People ►


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Martin Elder

Sun 22nd Jan 2017 14:48

Thanks Colin and Hazel.
I am glad that you picked up on the hiding we do Hazel, it is so common particularly amongst men.
yep I remember ted's in the 70's along with the punks and skinheads and the rockabillies. But I guess this guy is set more in the fifties around the time I was born so I don't remember them at that time. But I picture this guy standing underneath the clock tower in the centre of Brighton waiting to go into what was the old regent cinema that I am told had a dance floor before it was all knocked down to create that large boots that is there now.
Cheers to you both

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Hazel ettridge

Sat 21st Jan 2017 09:32

What a pleasure to read. So easy to relate to that huge effort we all put into hiding who we really are.

<Deleted User> (13762)

Sat 21st Jan 2017 08:58

you write this so well Martin and it's always a pleasure to read your work. The Teddy Boys survived quite well through the 70's with the help of Showaddywaddy and even us punks stole their creepers. But I fear they might be a dying breed nowadays - can't remember the last time I saw one strolling down the High Street with 'Elvis nonchalance'. Nice twist at the end. Cheers, Col.

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