Sally’s Trilogy

Poetry | Sally Stackhouse



Sally Stackhouse



The smells from the kitchen were delightful

The weather outside was frightful

A dull, drizzly day made special by nan

Wiping beads of sweat from her brow with her hand

The Aga had been cooking the turkey all morn

She’d been up since dawn

Slicing and dicing vegetables and potatoes

Boiling on the hob and roasting in the oven


They all sat around the table

A bit of a squash and not particularly comfortable

They ate till they were full

The crackers were pulled

Hats were worn, jokes read out

The kids even ate the sprouts


The dishes were cleared and washed and dried

The baby sniffled and cried

Whipped cream and brandy butter were placed on the table

The pudding was flamed to oohs and aahs and gasps

All the grandchildren were lucky enough to have a slice

Containing a silver threepenny piece 

Full and replete, glasses refilled, tea poured

All retired to the ‘best room’ to see what was wrapped



Fred came home from work, tired and a little bit grumpy

Every day the presents had grown under the Christmas tree

Each evening he kept sneaking little peaks

No present for him from June and Nelson for a week

Many more presents for the grandchildren

They would have so much fun

There would be a mess of discarded wrapping paper

It was a love of labour

With cries of, ‘grandad, look at my toy! 

He fixed the lego for the boys

He played with the dolls with the girls

Fixing strings of pearls

Still no present for him under the tree

He bounced the baby on his knee

Suddenly everybody moved from the sofa

It was pulled out and hey presto

There was his present not easy to wrap

Being a special shape

Just what he wanted, a new shovel!



The living room looked bare

Nothing to look at, no tree

All sparkling and glowing

Decorations packed away

For another (approximately) 365 days



The flames grew higher with a loud swoosh

The chimney was on fire

Quick, quick, it was becoming dire

Dial 999, run to the phone box in the High Street, 

Dad ran, fleet of foot up the street

The fire engine came too late

Mum had put the fire out using salt

It was her fault as she threw the holly in the grate

The kids stood in awe

With open jaws

As firemen entered the room

No need to panic but get your chimney swept 

And don’t throw fresh holly in the fire again, Mrs. Carter.

You did the right thing

But it was best that you gave us a ring.


Chorused the fire brigade, as they drove back to their place 

In the big red fire engine, which was as red as mum’s face.


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