Never Put A Firework In Your Pocket


Cold hands wrapped in knitted mittens, cheeks red and stingy from the rasping cold. Our little family, me, my brother huddled together, sheltered by walls of house and arms of mum. Our Dad reminding us of the importance of ‘firework safety’.   Selecting fireworks from the colorful assortment responsibly stored in an old biscuit tin. A purposeful stride across the garden, one, two, the chosen one in hand. Carefully, placing it, lighting it, a final check, a casual jog back to the house. Standing, staring. Wide eyes and expectant faces.

The stunted fizz of a roman candle, the stop-start of the Catherine wheel hanging from a nail on the washing line prop. The shriek of rockets launched into the inky sky, attaching themselves to stars, falling to the ground, a muffled thud. Sparklers, held in small hands, arms stretched out creating a shimmery, silvery trail of failed attempts to write our names.

Jacket potatoes, burnished, papery skins, too hot to hold. Sticky sausages, oozing grease soaking the tomato sauce smeared squashy bread. Scalding soup in mugs, burning tongues and skinning lips.

Fire works came but once a year.

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