Remebering family life

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As a child I had brothers and sisters,

And thought that this was the norm.

I never had any space of my own,

I was the sixth in line to be born.

At times I wondered “who am I,

“And where is my place in this crowd?”

By now there were three more behind me,

To be heard I had to shout loud.

The days never had enough hours,

From morning to dusk was a fight.

The eldest looked after the youngest,

And, yes, we were all hungry at night.

We never went short of playmates,

The truth was we never could cope.

Too many bridges between siblings,

All washed with the same flannel and soap.

The war came and scattered the family,

Dad signed up to fight at the front.

The middle five were sent off to Filey,

Those left at home bore the brunt.

Now all good things come to an end,

And after three years we came home.

Some went to work in the shipyards,

Like me; some continued to roam.

Albert Armstrong,

Percy Street,

Hartlepool.