A Little Smash of Plaster


I bet it's still there,

a little smash of plaster

in the nicotined ceiling,

held in my memory forty-odd years.


Dad'd blush and mutter,

ramble about "safety"

as we would tell the tale for the umpteenth time,

gleefully relishing the moment.


It must have been a present.

He couldn't have afforded one from paper round or jobs done,               

and everyone had one                                  

or knew someone who did,

bruised thighs to prove "Does it hurt?"


Tin cans. Fat rats. Prohibited blackbirds,

brought into the garden                                          

by monkey nuts and cunning,

and summer days of nothing much to do.


I thought the window would go through,

he hit it that hard.

Smashing on the single pane,

"Put the bloody safety on!"

"Get in here NOW",

enraged at the flagrant breach of Rules.


My brother limped in, ready for a bollocking.

Dad ripped it off him,

launching into what went wrong

if Rules weren't followed.

"Put the bloody safety on!

What have I been telling you?

You'll have somebody's eye…" BANG!



The shiny .22.

A furious Dad.

A pellet to the nicotined ceiling.

A moment of surprise.

Silence for a second.

Plaster-white confetti on our heads.

Then we couldn't draw breath we were laughing that hard.

"Put the bloody safety on, DAD".


I hope it's still there,

that little smash of plaster,

a pellet-shaped cavity,

held in my memory forty-odd years.

Put the bloody safety on, Dad.




◄ Charity Begins At Home

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Big Sal

Tue 5th Jun 2018 23:07

I love air rifles, and the one I have today is probably no safer to handle than the one you had back then. Still dangerous as shit with its twitchy safety. Funny read.👍

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Laura Taylor

Wed 18th Apr 2018 12:53

Hey thanks so much Hannah, Ray and Pat!

Ray - did you also test to see if it hurt by shooting people in the thighs? 😀 They really REALLY hurt 😀

Pat Hughes

Tue 17th Apr 2018 20:59

Great poem Laura.

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Tue 17th Apr 2018 20:24

Ah Laura, the old days of proper fear and restrictions, lines not to step over, but we did, thank God. We all had air rifles in our teens at home, and shot out a window, and a few bushes toppled too.

Great feisty story with humour as a dessert.


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Hannah Collins

Tue 17th Apr 2018 16:24

I love these poems about childhood incidents and memories.
This is a great one Laura, full of action and imagery, you can almost see it.
Enjoyed reading this so much.


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Laura Taylor

Tue 17th Apr 2018 14:03

Thanks chaps.

We took the mick out of my Dad for years for this. He was a proper nark when we were kids, and this was just a golden moment of dethroned authority.

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Brian Maryon

Tue 17th Apr 2018 13:50

I like this a lot Laura. At Maryon Towers it was a cue mark in the snooker room ceiling.

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Graham Sherwood

Tue 17th Apr 2018 13:22

Laura, I have to say the best one yet for the ninnynannorhino thingy!

My misdemeanour was a splash of Airfix paint on a newly painted ceiling one Christmas.

We've all got them, superb memories!

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Wolfgar Miere

Tue 17th Apr 2018 13:02

Laura there is something quite wonderful in that, a real moment in a life.

Stress alleviated by laughter is often memorable.


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Laura Taylor

Tue 17th Apr 2018 12:52

12th poem for NaPoWriMo 2018 – the prompt today was to write a poem about a family anecdote.

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