“Ah-me old love, me old beauty, how would you like a sweetie.”
Sixpence in Gotabed’s sweetshop
was like a king’s ransom.
You could exchange the coin silver
for a scoop from the jewel jars
and release from captivity
the sugared prisoner pieces
trapped in rows of glass castles.
The excitement of selection—
The slow point, to lift the lid—
Tilt the bottles—
See your selections fall—
Listen to the—clink—
as the rainbow pieces hit the pan—
And watch the scales tip
as the weights dictated the reward.
Two white-coated maidens—
one dark, one fair,
ritualized the pouring ceremony
into white triangular paper bags,
then twisted the tops and handed me
the dim glimmer of sweet memories.
But the best was the air in there.
A gold tinted atmosphere
of barley sugar twists—
lemon sherbet suckers—
perfume from heaven.
Nowadays the joys are base and mundane
compared to that.